Rare Books and Special Collections

Neal-Schuman. 2014. 560p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781555709648. pap. $125. PRO MEDIA
This handbook presents a comprehensive overview of the essential information needed by library professionals working with rare books and special collections in academic libraries, private repositories, and large public libraries. Berger (director, Phillips Lib., Peabody Essex Museum) covers the broad scope of responsibilities involved in managing a special collection, including acquisition and collection development, handling and preservation of rare books and archival materials, fundraising, security and facilities issues, disaster planning, outreach, and digitization. The text successfully balances both a big-picture view of managing rare books departments while addressing, in detail, issues that are specific to the experiences of special collections librarians. The author's personal anecdotes in the sidebars helpfully reinforce and provide real-world context for the best practices he outlines in the narrative. The extensive bibliography and appendixes are especially useful for further research into specific topics. This work should be considered a companion to Rare Book Librarianship by Geoffrey D. Smith, et al (2012).
VERDICT Recommended as ready reference for all library professionals who are responsible for rare books and special collections.
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