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Article

Susan Potter and Robert P. Holley

This paper aims to summarize the importance of rare materials for academic libraries, including developments since the arrival of the internet and the effects of declining…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to summarize the importance of rare materials for academic libraries, including developments since the arrival of the internet and the effects of declining library budgets.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed the literature on the subject coupled with their experiences with collection development.

Findings

Collecting rare materials remains important for scholarly research, though harder to justify during a period of budget stringency. Academic libraries should discover creative ways to discover and add rare materials to their collections. Rare materials require special expertise in their acquisition, processing, storage, and use. Digitization is making rare materials more accessible but cannot substitute for the use of the originals in all cases.

Practical implications

The authors provide a summary of recent thought on the status of rare materials in academic libraries – for libraries that include such collections or for those interested in increasing their holdings of rare materials.

Originality/value

The paper provides a summary of recent trends in collecting rare materials in academic libraries.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

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Article

Maurice B Line

Demand by remote users for old, rare and precious books is small but not insignificant. Special features affecting availability, whether by loan or photocopy, include…

Abstract

Demand by remote users for old, rare and precious books is small but not insignificant. Special features affecting availability, whether by loan or photocopy, include scattered holdings, fragility, monetary value, rarity and restrictive conditions of gift. Union lists, of which there are several examples, are a first step towards availability. Where facsimiles and reprints exist they can be used for loan purposes. Not all older books are rare or precious, and many could be lent. A central repository accepting books withdrawn from other libraries can make them available subsequently. Electrostatic copies can often be made, or photographic copies in cases of fragility or tight binding; in both cases a second copy could be made for a national centre. Microfilming, whether as a commercial project or by individual libraries, can also avoid loan of the original. Other photographic or digital forms of capturing and storing texts may become more widely used. A national programme for improved availability could include union lists, a microfilming programme, a national register of microfilms or other copies, and a central repository of copies and/or originals. In the UK, some but not all of these elements exist. Union listing is very advanced. The British Library Lending Division serves as a national repository and has a good collection of facsimiles, reprints and microform research collections, all available for loan. Although there are limits to availability, much more could be done. The interests of bibliographic control, conservation and availability fortunately all coincide.

Details

Interlending Review, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-2773

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Article

Mingjie Li and Jinfang Niu

This paper aims to provide a theoretical guide for preserving ancient books in China.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a theoretical guide for preserving ancient books in China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the history of the damage and preservation of ancient books in China, and analyzes the value attributes of ancient books: archaeological value, historical value and artistic value.

Findings

The paper proposes a preservation framework for Chinese ancient books. This framework is composed of three layers. The foundation layer is to preserve the physical entity of ancient books so that the archaeological values are preserved. The middle layer is to preserve the intellectual content of ancient books so that the values for historical research are preserved. The top layer is mainly about preserving the productions process of the artistic format of ancient books, so that not only the static artistic formats are preserved, the techniques and procedures to produce the artistic format are preserved as well.

Originality/value

The paper presents a framework that connects the value attributes of ancient books and the strategies to preserve those values, systematizes them and presents them as a whole. The framework can be used to justify government policies and help identify pitfalls in the preservation strategies for ancient books.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 66 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article

Liu Qing

This essay focuses on the Chinese-Japanese Library of the Harvard-Yenching Institute and examines how the Library collected and transported Chinese rare books to the…

Abstract

Purpose

This essay focuses on the Chinese-Japanese Library of the Harvard-Yenching Institute and examines how the Library collected and transported Chinese rare books to the United States during the 1930 and 1940s. It considers Harvard's rationale for its collection of Chinese books and tensions between Chinese scholars and the Harvard-Yenching Institute leaders and librarians over the purchase and “export” of Chinese books.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is a historical study based on archival research at Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Harvard-Yenching Library, as well as careful readings of published primary and secondary sources.

Findings

By examining the debates that surrounded the ownership of Chinese books, and the historical circumstances that enabled or hindered the cross-national movement of books, this essay uncovers a complex and interwoven historical discourse of academic nationalism, internationalism and imperialism.

Originality/value

Drawing upon the unexamined primary sources and published second sources, this essay uncovers a complex and interwoven historical discourse of academic nationalism, internationalism and imperialism.

Details

History of Education Review, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0819-8691

Keywords

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Article

ALEX WILSON

MY THEME affects all of the community who live with or by books. This theme is that all of the book community, but most particularly librarians, have given priority to the…

Abstract

MY THEME affects all of the community who live with or by books. This theme is that all of the book community, but most particularly librarians, have given priority to the exploitation of library materials over their conservation in use to such an extent that accumulated neglect is almost irrecoverable in economic terms. Particularly is this the case with modern books, say those published from the middle of the nineteenth century. Within them the seeds of destruction in the form of lignin and the acidic content of paper, sizing, adhesives, leather and even the ink upon the pages could condemn them to an unusable state in less that a lifetime even if kept in reasonable conditions.

Details

Library Review, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article

Colin Storey

The purpose of this paper is to address the dangers for a highly trained group of professionals – academic librarians – in responding to the challenge of divesting their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the dangers for a highly trained group of professionals – academic librarians – in responding to the challenge of divesting their libraries of a very large amount of printed material.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a general view of the current state‐of‐play in library management vis‐à‐vis the e‐revolution, in terms of the corresponding preservation of printed materials.

Findings

Traditionally, the majority stock of any library, rarely used printed books and journals seem to have become a liability and a burden in this web‐spun, e‐raddled world. Academic librarians are becoming active participants in the rush to achieve a “print→less” heaven. For the first time in history on such a scale and in any period of war or peace, the next 20 years could witness a huge and deliberate global dispersal and even destruction of a substantial portion of the printed word in university, college and research libraries. This Fahrenheit 451‐equivalent event would be carefully planned not by ruthless despots and capricious censors riding roughshod over the bodies of librarians to re‐write historical records, but by … the librarians themselves. This is not just “bibliobabble” – defined here as the reactionary ravings of the bibliophile against a tidal wave of e‐books and digital content. Given librarians' innate professional ability for organized thoroughness, a series of small local projects, largely unremarked in the wider world, would be very speedily executed, leading to global and possibly uncoordinated weeding. This sustained dispersal or destruction of printed material from the protective walls of universities and colleges, without the usual finesse or adequate time or resources, will re‐classify “ordinary” works into titles of “relative” or even “absolute” rarity worldwide. Academic librarians will have created a new profession for themselves – “rare book engineers” – by massively reducing the number of copies held in the world's libraries and relying on private book collectors (if they still exist in 2060) to acquire any of the millions of discarded titles and preserve them for posterity.

Practical implications

Librarians need to consider carefully how and where lesser‐used printed materials will be disposed of and sent.

Originality/value

Using practical examples from many years of experience in librarianship, the author states some strong personal opinions on this matter.

Details

Library Management, vol. 32 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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Article

Liladhar R. Pendse

The access to the rare originals of the early Spanish colonial imprints of the Philippines remains problematic. The reference librarians often are restricted to directing…

Abstract

Purpose

The access to the rare originals of the early Spanish colonial imprints of the Philippines remains problematic. The reference librarians often are restricted to directing the students and scholars to the secondary resources that are available both in print and as a part of the digital assets within the North American academic libraries. This paper aims to focus on the select primary source editions including select Spanish language colonial imprints that are available electronically on the Web along the Open Access. These Web-based resources serve as the reference tools for the early history of the Philippines and Southeast Asia. As many of these publications are rare and extremely expensive for most libraries, the Open Access resources serve as an aid to building a virtual collection of these items.

Design/methodology/approach

The author had to create a data set of the early imprints of the Spanish Philippines using several bibliographic resources. The data set will be submitted as an Appendix for this research paper. The author did both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data set along with the voyant-based digital humanities approach for topic modeling.

Findings

The goals of this paper were to not only survey the early Spanish printing of the Philippines but also provide the reader with a somewhat complete picture of how the printing began in the Spanish Philippines, what kind of the first books were printed and how one can access them given their rarity and fragility. The collection building paradigms are undergoing significant shifts, and the focus of many academic libraries is shifting toward providing access to these items. As these items high-value low-use items continue to be part of the Special Collections, the access to these is problematic. The virtual collections thus serve as a viable alternative that enables further research and access. While the creators of these works are long gone, the legacy of the Spanish colonial domination, printing and the religious orders in the Philippines remain alive through these works.

Research limitations/implications

As this is an introductory paper, the author focused on the critical editions rather than providing a comprehensive bibliographic landscape of the presses that produced these editions. He also did not take into consideration many pamphlets that were published in the same period. He also did not consider the Chinese language publications of the Islands. The Chinese had been block printing since medieval times (Little, 1996). In the context of the Spanish Philippines, the Chinese migration and trade have been studied in detail by Chia (2006), Bjork (1998) and Gebhardt (2017). The scope of this paper also was centered toward building a virtual collection of these rare books.

Practical implications

Rare books are often expensive and out-of-reach for many libraries; the virtual collection of the same along the Open Access model represents an alternative to collect and curate these collections. The stewardship of these collections also acquires a new meaning in the digital milieu.

Social implications

This research paper will allow scholars to see past the analog editions and help them focus on curating a virtual collection. The questions of electronic access are often ignored when it comes to visiting and using them in a controlled environment of the reading room in the Special Collections. The author argues that one way to enable access to these rare and expensive books is to provide access to their digital counterparts. These digital/virtual surrogates of the originals will facilitate further research.

Originality/value

The author could not find similar research on the publications of the early Spanish colony of the Philippines.

Details

Collection and Curation, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9326

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Library Technical Services: Operations and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-795-0

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Article

Heather S. Miller

In the past, librarians have often viewed antiquarian booksellers somewhat negatively—making money from those precious tomes that belong in rare book collections. In fact…

Abstract

In the past, librarians have often viewed antiquarian booksellers somewhat negatively—making money from those precious tomes that belong in rare book collections. In fact, librarians have often deliberately kept deaccessioned materials from these book dealers, so as not to support this once thought dubious business.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

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Article

THE enterprise of two London newspapers, the Tribune (for the second time) and the Daily Chronicle, in organizing exhibitions of books affords a convenient excuse for once…

Abstract

THE enterprise of two London newspapers, the Tribune (for the second time) and the Daily Chronicle, in organizing exhibitions of books affords a convenient excuse for once again bringing forward proposals for a more permanent exhibition. On many occasions during the past twenty years the writer has made suggestions for the establishment of a central book bazaar, to which every kind of book‐buyer could resort in order to see and handle the latest literature on every subject. An experiment on wrong lines was made by the Library Bureau about fifteen years ago, but here, as in the exhibitions above mentioned, the arrangement was radically bad. Visiting the Daily Chronicle show in company with other librarians, and taking careful note of the planning, one was struck by the inutility of having the books arranged by publishers and not by subjects. Not one visitor in a hundred cares twopence whether books on electricity, biography, history, travel, or even fairy tales, are issued by Longmans, Heinemann, Macmillan, Dent or any other firm. What everyone wants to see is all the recent and latest books on definite subjects collected together in one place. The arrangements at the Chronicle and Tribune shows are just a jumble of old and new books placed in show‐cases by publishers' names, similar to the abortive exhibition held years ago in Bloomsbury Street. What the book‐buyer wants is not a miscellaneous assemblage of books of all periods, from 1877 to date, arranged in an artistic show‐case and placed in charge of a polite youth who only knows his own books—and not too much about them—but a properly classified and arranged collection of the newest books only, which could be expounded by a few experts versed in literature and bibliography. What is the use of salesmen in an exhibition where books are not sold outright? If these exhibitions were strictly limited to the newest books only, there would be much less need for salesmen to be retained as amateur detectives. Another decided blemish on such an exhibition is the absence of a general catalogue. Imagine any exhibition on business lines in which visitors are expected to cart away a load of catalogues issued separately by the various exhibitors and all on entirely different plans of arrangement! The British publisher in nearly everything he does is one of the most hopeless Conservatives in existence. He will not try anything which has not been done by his grandfather or someone even more remote, so that publishing methods remain crystallized almost on eighteenth century lines. The proposal about to be made is perhaps far too revolutionary for the careful consideration of present‐day publishers, but it is made in the sincere hope that it may one day be realized. It has been made before without any definite details, but its general lines have been discussed among librarians for years past.

Details

New Library World, vol. 10 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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