This statement on the Newsam Library’s Special Collections aims to explain the basis on which material is acquired and managed. It ensures material is accepted according to a recognised strategy and serves as a reference document to guide curatorial decisions.
Its purpose is to provide information and guidance to library staff, academic staff, students, library users and the wider scholarly and professional communities as to the principles governing the development and management of the Newsam Library’s Special Collections.
The Newsam Library holds a large number of special collections which by virtue of the uniqueness or rarity of the items contained within them, their physical form, content, depth of subject coverage or other special significance, are distinguished from the general stock of the Library and receive special treatment in terms of housing, management, cataloguing, consultation, preservation and conservation. By their nature they also form part of the local, national, and international documentary heritage.
The Special Collections are managed by the Special Collections Librarian and are listed on this guide. The Special Collections Librarian recognises the responsibility to preserve the special collections holdings in perpetuity to support the teaching, learning and research at the IOE, and for the use of future generations. The main role of the Special Collections Librarian is to enable physical and intellectual access to these collections while at the same time ensuring their long-term preservation.
Items for Special Collections are acquired by gift, bequest, or purchase, whether from private individuals, or organisations. In general, items or collections are not accepted under the following circumstances:
Unless there is a pressing reason, new acquisitions will generally not be considered on either of these terms unless appropriate resources to maintain and support the collection are also offered.
An item or collection of items is normally designated as, added to or acquired by Special Collections if it fulfils the above and the first and one or more of the following criteria:
It is in general not the policy of the Special Collections Section to acquire second identical copies of items already held in its collections. The exception to this rule is in the case of items with a significant provenance or association.
Later or earlier editions of a published work already held may be acquired, particularly where the edition in question differs substantively in content from that already held, where it fills a gap in otherwise comprehensive holdings or where it is of particular bibliographic, literary or historical significance.
Guidelines for Gifts, Donations and Bequests
The Newsam Library wishes to encourage gifts of special collections material, provided that is falls within the scope of this Collection Development Policy. Financial donations to support the purchase, storage, cataloguing or conservation of the collections are also warmly welcomed.
The Newsam Library is pleased to accept gifts of material on the understanding that:
For all gifts of a significant size potential donors are asked to consult the Head of the Newsam Library & Archives in advance, so that the receipt, storage, cataloguing and conservation implications of the donation can be discussed in detail. Gifts of significant size may be defined as those gifts whose review, cataloguing, processing, storage and conservation cannot be covered by existing Library resources.