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Encouraging news from Research Libraries UK.  With OCLC, they will be carrying out a survey into special collections and archives in the UK, similar to one OCLC did in 2009 for US and Canadian libraries.  “Taking our Pulse”,  the report of the latter, was incredibly useful to me in writing the Special Collections Handbook; I remember thinking that a UK version would have been even more so.  So much great work is going on but I don’t think the evidence is being gathered at a high level.  So well done to RLUK and I look forward to seeing the results.

The Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

I had to use a Yorkshire partner library and RLUK member for the illustration! The Brotherton Library, University of Leeds. Thanks mr-numb for the shot.

As far as I can tell, the survey will only cover the members of RLUK and their OCLC partners, not the whole Special Collections community.  However, this may not be a huge concern: from reading the OCLC replies and knowing many RLUK Special Collections people, I suspect we face similar threats and concerns.  The emphasis on Unique and Diverse Collections in RLUK’s strategy is extremely welcome and should benefit all Special Collections by raising awareness of their value throughout higher education.

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