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Letting Scholars Know About Local Archives and Special Collections

January 19, 2021

Just how much smaller local archives and special collections are struggling right now due to the pandemic has been a topic in social media lately. After bringing this to the attention of other librarians at Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library, Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature, enhanced her own online guide designed to promote their use.

Photo by Janko Ferlic from Pexels

She said, “The number one suggestion was that faculty could help to make these institutions more visible by encouraging students to use them, or even just making students aware that they exist.” So, with this in mind, she developed her newly updated LOCAL ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS guide.

Wingo requested the input of others including Beaudry Allen, Preservation & Digital Archivist from Falvey’s Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement Department. Eventually it was added to the Interdisciplinary category on Falvey’s listing of online subject guides. The guide includes a mechanism for anyone to suggest an addition to it: “Know of a local archive or special collection not on this list? Send us the link to their website and where appropriate they will be added.”

It is hoped other libraries will seriously consider ways to highlight local archives and special collections for their patrons.

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