VALA2018 Session 16 Holley

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The strategic rebuilding and positioning of UNSW Special Collections 2014-2018

Thursday 15 February 2018, 14:45 – 15:15

Rose Holley

UNSW Canberra

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Unique and Distinctive Collections (UDC) held in libraries, also known as ‘Special Collections’ contain research rich content that is unique, not digitised and difficult to access. These collections are now becoming strategically significant to our organisations, especially in the increasingly competitive academic environment where we all hold similar books and e-resources, but our unpublished content is our point of difference. UDC’s enable us to leverage research and learning opportunities, but only if they are unlocked and accessible.

In 2014 the UNSW made a strategic decision to focus on and invest in the rebuilding and positioning of the UNSW Special Collections which are located at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Prior to this the Special Collections had been largely inaccessible for a decade. This presentation gives an overview of the four year programme of activities and projects undertaken from 2014 to present, that has moved the Special Collections from a critical state into a strong position for the future. This included a focus on physical content, management and storage; building a new repository; establishing governance; and partnerships with national institutions for data sharing, digitisation, and custody of collections. The Special Collections Strategic Framework 2018-2021 (part of the UNSW 2025 Strategy) will guide future work on collecting, curating and digitising collections.


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