Picking Up the Pieces: Library Processes and the Theft of Rare Materials

Greg Seppi, Dainan Skeem


In October 2018, Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library experienced thefts from its general circulating collection and L. Tom Perry Special Collections. This article explores the literature on theft in special collections and libraries in general, reviews the events that occurred as a case study in dealing with theft, and concludes with some thoughts on how institutions can avoid purchasing stolen materials. We also include our analysis of one of the stolen books to explain how we knew it belonged to the university and a sample theft reporting checklist.

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