Special Collections Librarianship

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Books at the Lilly Library

Following in the footsteps of previous posts that focus on a specific field of librarianship (such as Annie’s post on art librarianship and Chris’s post on data curation) today I wanted to explore special collections librarianship. I’d like to work with digital projects for special collections or archives after graduating from Indiana University and along the way I’ve picked up a few tips that I thought might be helpful to share with other library students interested in pursuing careers in special collections libraries.

First of all, I should define what I mean by special collection libraries. While special libraries could denote any library beyond academic and public with a specialized focus (such as a corporate or map library), special collections usually refer to repositories containing rare, unique and/or historically significant materials. Many special collections contain archival materials, and in smaller libraries special collections and archives are often merged.

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