Hello

 

Whilst not criteria, you might also be interested in this short report on retention and preservation – part of the COPAC collections management tools project:

 

http://copac.ac.uk/innovations/collections-management/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Retention-and-PreservationInterim.pdf 

 

 

Caroline Peach

 

Head of Preservation Advisory Centre

British Library

96 Euston Road

London NW1 2DB

www.bl.uk/blpac

 


From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Karyn Stuckey
Sent: 30 May 2012 13:43
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Weeding of Special Collections Books

 

Hi,

 

I am also undertaking such an exercise:

 

1. Is there a copy in a copyright library in the UK (especially relevant for older material)? Yes; are there likely (bit subjective this, base on age/if text said is limited edition etc or if you have time do an interlibrary search) to be 3 or more copies elsewhere? Yes is not rare. No; it’s rare

 

2. Are there any annotations/hand coloured plates or similar/inserts interleaved (letters/pressed flowers etc)? Yes; annotations rare; inserts, does the book and the context tie? Yes then rare. No (unless criteria 1 met) not rare but still record where inserted item was removed from (An exception may be a personal library, where is no direct correlation between items but the owner gives them context, a judgement call!) (For signatures, where several owners have written their names etc then it may not be rare just owned by lots of people….research names if information is full enough.) (If annotated, especially heavily, eg Stanley Kubrick’s copy of a book he based a film on I would argue it has crossed the line into an archival item and would store it with the archive series and not with books, rare or otherwise.)

 

3. Is the binding historical/unique? This can be harder to estimate! If Yes rare. (By unique I don’t mean ‘modern’ motifs etc but leather, gold leaf decorated, original to old text etc)

 

4. Is it in usable condition without special instructions eg is spine intact/do pages drop out? If No then although it may not be rare (see above criteria) keep it in a ‘handling instruction section’

 

If no to the above they go back to the library (exceptions below).

 

I am sure the above is not without flaws and would be interested to read what others use/do: it’s also highly based on materials I have dealt with! In many cases I am finding that books put in the archive are not ‘rare’ but expensive and so are kept of library shelves (a valid reason, one book we have is 9,000) or foreign and hard to get hold of or out of print. We also have the odd reoccurring title that gets waylaid on desks so now we keep all copies of these in the Archive for safe keeping. We also have in-house publishing, so I keep a copy of each title we produce.

 

They fall under our Special Collections but …… the rare book section of that.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Karyn Stuckey

Special Collections Archivist

 

Foster + Partners
Riverside, 22 Hester Road
London SW11 4AN

T +44 (0)20 7738 0455 

D1 +44 (0)20 7943 6963
D2 +44 (0)20 7943 6515

E kstuckey@fosterandpartners.com
www.fosterandpartners.com


From: Archivists, conservators and records managers. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mrs Cookiejar
Sent: 30 May 2012 13:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Weeding of Special Collections Books

 

Hi Morag

I think you're talking about what many Special Collections & Archives refer to as their 'Rare Books' Collection. If so, I think it's a really good question, which I've been grappling with myself - what criteria can/should one use to determine if a book is, indeed, rare?

Arguably more an issue for Librarians, but I think historically such material has ended up in archives purely because it's deemed to be the safest place to store library material which may be of considerable financial value and cannot sit on the open shelves.

Please could anyone who (unlike me!) can give a helpful response to Morag's question please post their response to the general list (otherwise could you post a summary here Morag please?)

Thanks
Emma

--- On Wed, 5/30/12, Fyfe, Morag <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 

*apologies for cross posting*

 

To anyone who works in a University Special Collections and Archives who has to deal with books!

 

We are  planning on undertaking some weeding of our Special Collections books this summer and in doing so are hoping to come up with some criteria for what we do and do not keep in Special Collections in future.  There doesn’t seem to have been much of a strategy here in the past, aside from the book collections that are related to our archive collections.

 

Having not really had to deal with books before, I was wondering if anyone else has criteria or policies for books that they keep in their Special Collections that they wouldn’t mind sharing with me so I have somewhere to start from?

 

Thanks (hopefully!)

 

Morag.

 

 

Morag Fyfe
 
Research & Learner Support Officer (Special Collections and Archives)
Library and Student Support
 
Liverpool John Moores Univeristy

 

 

 


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