The cultural and scholarly record

The facilitated collection

Collections have been central to library identity – we have discussed how library collections are changing in a network environment elsewhere (Collection Directions: The Evolution of Library Collections and Collecting – PDF). Support for the discovery, curation and creation of resources in research and learning practices continues to evolve. In this blog entry I discuss … Continue reading The facilitated collection

The university’s curatorial role

I made a note in these pages a couple of years ago about the University of Edinburgh’s mission statement. The University’s mission is the creation, dissemination and curation of knowledge. The occasion was Chris Rusbridge’s justified pleasure at seeing the mission changed to include ‘curation’. At the time, Chris was the director of The Digital … Continue reading The university’s curatorial role

Using Wikipedia

We still don’t appear to know what to make of Wikipedia. Consider these two cases. First, Edward Glaeser includes a reference to Wikipedia in the acknowledgements to his new book, Triumph of the city. Following common practices, Wikipedia is not listed in the bibliography or citations, because any Wikipedia fact was verified with a more … Continue reading Using Wikipedia

The library network and the scholarly record

The library community is a highly interconnected one. Networks are motivated both by library mission and effective management of resources. This trend will accelerate as the Internet favors shared services, and libraries will see more benefit in building such shared services. The Hathi Trust is an important example. The growth of interest in sharing library … Continue reading The library network and the scholarly record

Managing down collections …

I was interested to read this from Karen Schneider a while ago: “Centralized mass storage for legacy print materials (paper-based books and journals) is by far the most under-observed trend in libraries today”. I agree, with the friendly qualification that the trend is about managing the relationship between local, mass storage and emerging digitised resources. … Continue reading Managing down collections …

Emerging network level management of the collective print collection

One of the recurrent themes in these pages is that systemwide coordination of print materials is necessary as libraries begin to retire collections – to offsite storage or removing them altogether. There are various drivers here: the demands on space, the emergence of a digital corpus, the cost of managing a resource that releases progressively … Continue reading Emerging network level management of the collective print collection

Outside-in and inside-out redux

I have been using this phrase, outside-in and inside-out, to discuss a contrast in information management practices that is becoming more important. Here is how I spoke about it a little while ago in these pages: Think, for example, of a distinction between outside-in resources, where the library is buying or licensing materials from external … Continue reading Outside-in and inside-out redux

QOTD: a new Alexandria

An interesting article – Toward a new Alexandria: imagining the future of libraries – by Lisbet Rausing has just appeared in The New Republic. It discusses the continuity of the scholarly record in a richly allusive text. I sensed three strands. First, the scholarly record is evermore diffused through media and formats, embracing source materials, … Continue reading QOTD: a new Alexandria

Name, rank and serial number

As authors are recognised as resources to be discovered, managed, ranked, and tracked, an interest in names and identifiers will continue to grow. A focus on research evaluation, reputation management, publication management drive this, as well as general information management issues in a web environment. Historically, national libraries have managed names within their jurisdictions. The … Continue reading Name, rank and serial number


My colleague Ricky Erway bravely accepted the challenge to talk as an outsider on the challenges faced by Europeana to a European conference on digitization last year. Her remarks are recorded in an article in the LIBER Quarterly. The organisers of the second LIBER/EBLIDA workshop on digitisation (The Hague, October 19-21) asked Ricky Erway of … Continue reading Europeana