VALA2020 Session 9 Sommerfeldt

Looking to the future to learn from the past: using specialist imaging technologies to aid research into historic books and manuscripts at the University of Sydney Library

Wednesday 12 February 2020, 11:25 – 11:55

Julia Sommerfeldt
  • Manager, Rare Books & Special Collections
  • University of Sydney Library

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Read the paper, view the video of the presentation on the VALAView channel and view the presentation slides here:


Current trends within academic libraries see many divesting substantial amounts of their print collections. Within this environment, rare and special collections can stand out as significant and unique features distinguishing one University Library from another. In the last two years, Rare Books & Special Collections (RBSC) at the University of Sydney Library has initiated and supported several multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional research projects using specialised imaging technologies to investigate historic books and manuscripts. This paper will examine and evaluate the inception and early stages of several ongoing projects, focusing on the potential benefits and limitations of these non-destructive techniques.

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