What's So Special about Special Collections Librarians?

Alice D. Schreyer

Abstract

“What's So Special about Special Collections?” was the title for the inaugural issue of RBM in 2000 and a theme issue of American Libraries published that same year.1 A variation of the phrase served as the subtitle for a 2005 RBMS Preconference seminar.2 The question asks us to articulate what distinguishes special collections from other research library collections and services, and reminds us of the implied elitism in our professional vocabulary. With a healthy dose of irony, we are challenging long-standing assumptions of difference.


What's so special about special collections librarians? I want to consider education and training with a . . .

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