A Response to Traister

Ellen R. Cordes

Abstract

In Daniel Traister's well-known article, “Is There a Future for Special Collections? And Should There Be? A Polemical Essay,”1 he states that his intention is “to propose that reconsideration of some of the essential assumptions our field operates with is overdue.” Some, he writes, will find his remarks “offensive or disagreeable”; others will say that he has nothing to complain about, that the changes he proposes have long been in practice. In brief, Traister argues that rare book librarians—in their zeal to preserve their rare books, manuscripts, and other special materials—have sacrificed access to collections and convenience to . . .

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