Seminar: The Afterlife of Collections: Library Life in Post-custodial Times
Sponsored by Martayan Lan
For generations, writers, book collectors, scholars, and philanthropists have assembled personal libraries, each with a unique focus and a variety of materials, and sought “suitable institutions” to house those treasures in perpetuity. Donated with certain immortality in mind, what becomes of those carefully gathered collections does not always include perpetual care. With personal anecdotes and institutional examples, this session aims to examine the afterlife of records, and the longevity of acquisitions, and the responsibilities of special collections in a Post-custodial Era.
Led by representatives of archives and special collections at large academic libraries, the antiquarian book trade, and a research division within the nation’s largest public library system, this session will demonstrate how institutions are addressing the challenges of collections custody, management, and discoverability, with examples of nineteenth- and twentieth-century acquisitions and de-accessioning, faculty bequests, and the bookseller’s role from auction floor to accession agreements.
Moderator: Jay Sylvestre, University of Miami