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Special Collections and Archives in the UK & Ireland

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Presented at RLUK Member's Meeting, 25 November 2011

Presented at RLUK Member's Meeting, 25 November 2011

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  • Modeled on US/Canada survey published a year ago.Delighted to be invited to work with RLUK.Will focus on RLUK data rather than entire UK/Ireland survey population.Will note comparison with US/Canada results where noteworthy.
  • Population selected by UDC board: all UK/Ireland members of RLUK and ORLP (which overlap by 2/3s), as well as selectively from LIBER members, Copac participants, and MLA-designated libraries and archives. About 20 others that are in none of these.
  • Others: various independent research libraries, royal colleges, learned societies, church institutions.
  • All slides from here forward relate to RLUK, not entire population.
  • Space: lack of for collections, quality of facilities in various ways. Also top challenge in US.Outreach: seeking broader audience, challenges of being visible, providing excellent service to users.Preservation: physical. Much higher attention to this than in US other than the challenges of AV and born-digital.Born-digital: #2 in US.Digitization: #3 in US.
  • Fundraising: far less need in US, where the skills already exist.IP: IMHO close connection to digitization and born-digital issues.Foreign languages: far less expressed need in US.
  • 45% Increased??!!
  • Note radically different meansand medians for all types of material other than archival and manuscript collections.Born-digital: of the 22 reporting, 12 have none and another 5 have less than 20 GB—so only 5 RLUKs have a remotely significant amount of data.
  • Institutional: Drop BL and the mean drops to £53,000.Bequest: Drop one institution and mean becomes £12,000.External bids: 13 have no funds, 8 didn’t report, 4 have £200,000 or more.
  • Very similar pattern of increases by type of materials.
  • Very similar pattern of increases by type of materials.
  • ARL 86%.
  • Is this at all a priority for RLUK library directors? Huge emphasis on increasing spcoll resource sharing in US.
  • Interesting that so many don’t allow use of uncataloged books. What’s the concern? Reading room security insufficient?
  • Higher than US/Canada for every format other than born-digital, which is roughly the same.
  • Books: matches US data.Other formats: greater decreases in US.
  • US/Canada: only 44% online, 30% offline. Archive Hub perhaps the reason? Simplified processing: a bit higher than in US.
  • 81% of RLUKs have an active digitization program.Less common in US to have program based in spcoll.Less common in US to need special funding.
  • In US 38% said they had done large-scale, but follow-up indicated that few had actually achieved results at scale or impressive rates of production.
  • Top seven across entire population hold 99.99% of the total gigabytes.RLUKs hold 93% of the total gigabytes.Top two RLUKs hold 80% of the RLUK gigabytes (86,000 out of 107,354).Top five RLUKs hold 99% of the RLUK gigabytes (106,358 GB out of 107,354).
  • The mean number of different formats held by each RLUK is 4.4.
  • Hence our current project on baby steps: need to help libraries get started.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Special Collections andarchives in the UK & IrelandAn early look at the RLUK/OCLCsurvey data Jackie Dooley Program Officer OCLC Research RLUK Annual Meeting 25 November 2011
    • 2. Why “Unique & Distinctive Collections”? “In an increasingly competitive post-Brown HE environment, distinctive special collections … have the capacity to differentiate … institutions in exceptional ways, offering … unique opportunities to undertake research and to benefit from learning opportunities.” --Survey respondentRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 2
    • 3. Survey population Invited to participate: 122 Total respondents: 82 RLUK respondents: 32/32 (100%)RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 3
    • 4. Respondents by home nation (n=82) 100% 90% 82% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 10% 4% 4% 1% 0% England Ireland Northern Ireland Scotland WalesRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 4
    • 5. Respondents by type of institution (n=82) By type of institution • Universities: 41 (50%) • Independent libraries: 9 • Museums: 5 • Public libraries: 5 • Royal colleges: 5 • Learned societies: 4 • National libraries: 4 • Church institutions: 4 • Conservatoires: 2 • Colleges: 2 • Royal botanic garden: 1RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 5
    • 6. The RLUK balance sheet • Use is increasing: all types of users & materials • Many materials remain undiscoverable • Backlogs continue to increase • Outreach to new audiences is essential • Born-digital management is in early stages • Staffing has increased • 45% of library budgets increased in 2009/2010RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 6
    • 7. “Most challenging issues” 1. Space & facilities 1. Outreach 1. Preservation 1. Born-digital materials 1. DigitizationRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 7
    • 8. The big picture: challenging issues “Demonstrating the value of SC to the University in tough times, and the need for improved engagement with research and learning …” “Keep pace with and even drive research and academic agenda within the University but also the wider world of scholarship.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 8
    • 9. Top education and training needs 1. Born-digital materials: 84% 2. Fundraising: 55% 1. Intellectual property: 55% 2. Information technology: 45% 3. Foreign languages: 45%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 9
    • 10. Change in overall library funding 50% 45% 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 17% 17% 15% 10% 10% 7% 5% 3% 0% 0% Decreased 1-5% Decreased 6-10% Decreased 11-15% Decreased 16-20% Decreased more No change Increased than 20%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 10
    • 11. Special collections holdings Special collections in remote storage: 56%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 11
    • 12. Funding for special collections acquisitionsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 12
    • 13. Most significant collections care problems 100% 90% 84% 80% 70% 66% 60% 50% 44% 40% 31% 31% 30% 22% 20% 16% 10% 0% Repair for use Repair for exhibition Improved housings Storage facilities Environmental Inadequate security Wear and tear controlsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 13
    • 14. Collections care Materials at high level of risk • Audiovisual: 47% • Born-digital: 41% Funding for collections care • Institutional budget: 74% • External bids: 14% • Other external funds: 10% • Bequest/endowment: 2%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 14
    • 15. Changes in onsite use by type of user 25 21 20 This user category not used 17 17 16 16 15 15 Not Sure 15 Increased 10 No change 5 5 4 4 4 4 Decreased 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 Faculty and staff Graduate students Undergraduates Visiting students UK Visiting researchers International Other UK researchers Note: Numbers of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 15
    • 16. Changes in onsite use by type of material 30 28 25 24 23 Decreased 20 20 No change Increased 15 Not Sure 10 10 10 10 10 9 No materials 8 8 of this type 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Note: Numbers of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 16
    • 17. Use of digital cameras Users may employ personal digital cameras in the special collections reading room: 71% C.f. Lisa Miller, et al. “Capture and Release”: Digital Cameras in the Reading Room. OCLC Research, 2010. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2010/2010-05.pdfRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 17
    • 18. Interlibrary loan of special collections 100% 90% 81% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 16% 10% 6% 3% 3% 0% Printed volumes Materials in other formats Only to affiliated instituions Only reproductions/copies NoRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 18
    • 19. Outreach Social media • Blogs: 53% • Twitter: 52% • Wikipedia links: 40% • Flickr: 40% • YouTube: 38% • Facebook: 38% External partners • Higher education: 90% • Local library/archives: 58% • Local museums: 48% • Business/commercial: 45%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 19
    • 20. User services: challenging issues “Accurate and qualitative evidence of online use, as figures of on-site use becomes less meaningful indicators …” “… students and younger academics lack the skills, knowledge and confidence to handle material archives and are more comfortable in a digital world …” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 20
    • 21. Access to uncataloged/unprocessed materials 30 25 24 No materials of 21 this type 20 19 No uncat/unproc materials of this 15 14 type 11 No 10 9 9 8 6 6 5 Yes 5 3 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 Printed volumes Archives/Manuscripts Visual materials Audiovisual Born-digital Note: Numbers of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 21
    • 22. Online catalog records • Printed volumes: 84% • Archives/MSS (collections): 72% • Manuscripts (items): 61% • Visual: 49% • Audiovisual: 47% • Cartographic: 43% • Born-digital: 27% Note: red = percentage of records, not of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 22
    • 23. Change in size of backlogs 50% 47% 45% 40% 35% 31% 31% Increased 30% 25% 25% No 22% change 20% 19% 15% 10% 5% 0% Printed volumes Other formatsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 23
    • 24. Archival management Archival finding aids • Online: 64% • Print-only or in local silos: 24% • None: 14% Use of simplified processing techniques • Always: 22% • Sometimes: 66% • Never: 12% Note: red = percentage of records, not of respondents.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 24
    • 25. Access to Internet finding aids 100% 97% 90% 88% 84% 80% 78% 70% 60% 50% 47% 40% 30% 28% 19% 20% 13% 10% 6% 0% 0%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 25
    • 26. Digitisation programmes 100% 90% 80% 70% 66% 60% 50% 44% 44% 40% 34% 30% 20% 16% 10% 3% 0% Project(s) Active programme Active library- Recurring budget Special funding No projects done completed, no in special wide programme for digitisation needed yet active programme collectionsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 26
    • 27. Large-scale digitisation of special collections Not sure 6% No plans 9% Projects completed 47% Intended in future 38% Definition: Systematic reproduction of entire collections using streamlined production methods to enable production at scale while accounting for special handling needs.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 27
    • 28. Digitisation: challenging issues “… prioritisationof image capture, extent of academic collaboration ..., cost-effective means of identifying rights and assessing risk.” “Special collections are in danger of being left behind with … increasing expectation that everything will be available online.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 28
    • 29. Born-digital archival materials U.S./Canada: our summary analysis • Undercollected • Undercounted • Undermanaged • Unpreserved • InaccessibleRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 29
    • 30. Born-digital archival materials • Institutional strategy in place? • Yes: 23% • In preparation: 41% • No: 36% • Materials held by: 69% • Holdings reported by:31% • Percent held by top two libraries: 81% • Percent held by top five libraries: 99% • Mean holdings: 0 • We surmise that collecting is generally passive, sporadic, limited.RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 30
    • 31. Born-digital archival materials • Most commonly held born-digital formats • Archives & manuscripts: 51% • Photographs: 52% • Institutional archival records: 52% • Audio: 42% • Publications: 42% • Email: 36% • Mean number of formats held: 4 • Education/training needed by: 78%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 31
    • 32. Impediments to born-digital management 100% 90% 80% 70% 61% 61% 60% 58% 50% 40% 36% 32% 30% 23% 23% 20% 10% 3% 0% 0% 0%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 32
    • 33. Born-digital: challenging issues “Until [active collecting] happens, the ability to develop the capacity to manage such resources will not be addressed.” “Lack of support from senior management who are put off from even discussing the matter due to potential cost implications.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 33
    • 34. Education and training needs 100% 90% 84% 80% 70% 60% 55% 55% 50% 45% 45% 42% 39% 40% 35% 35% 32% 29% 30% 23% 23% 23% 20% 10% 6% 6% 0%RLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 34
    • 35. Staffing: challenging issues “Understanding of changing teaching and research needs in a digital age.” “Training and acceptance of the changing landscape of special collections.” “Culture change—shifting focus and priorities of curators, from “back of the house” to “front of house.” --Survey respondentsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 35
    • 36. “The present survey is timely and very welcome, but now it’s what is done with its findings—as soon as possible—that matters.” --Survey respondentRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 36
    • 37. Some things that jumped out at me • Archival management • 24% of collections have an existing finding aid that is not online • As many backlogs are increasing as are decreasing • Fairly widespread use of simplified archival processing • Born-digital • Management and collecting both minimal to date • Is adequate education/training available? • Digitisation • High percent of programs are based in special collections • Have 48% really done large-scale projects? • More than half have licensed content to external vendorsRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 37
    • 38. Some things that jumped out at me • Funding • Almost entirely institutional; very limited external • Fundraising is 2nd-highest area of education/training need • Why did 45% of budgets increase in this economic climate? • User services • Interlibrary loan is nearly non-existent • 71% permit users to utilize digital cameras in search room • Staffing • Has increased since 2000 • Confronting change and balancing workloads are major issuesRLUK/OCLC Survey of Special Collections and Archives, RLUK Members Meeting, 25 Nov 2011 38