Tagged: rare books

Practical guidance for valuing objects in cultural collections

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Freda Matassa’s new book Valuing Your Collection: A practical guide for museums, libraries and archives

Assigning a financial value to a cultural object is always difficult, as there is no right answer. It is one of the many tasks of the curator, whether they work in a gallery, museum, archive or library, yet it is a role for which few have had any traChambers Cat 2.02.qxdining and that many approach with a lack of confidence. Even if there is a profound knowledge of the subject matter, there may be insufficient experience in the market for cultural objects. However, although it may not be easy, it has to be done.

In Valuing Your Collection, collections management expert Freda Matassa examines the issues around valuing objects in cultural collections, describing current practice in museums, libraries and archives, and giving practical advice on how to assign values. Matassa looks at the difference between value and worth and at how cultural value can be translated into monetary terms. She outlines the arguments over whether financial values should be assigned at all and provides guidance on how to approach a valuation by making comparisons and using a step-by-step process for which templates for a wide range of collections are provided.

Matassa said,

Valuation is fraught with difficulties for cultural collections. Finance is not their core business. Curators have little or no training and are reluctant to mention money as it may detract from significance. My book is designed to give the non-specialist confidence in their decision making.

Freda Matassa FRSA MA (Hons) DipAL DipEd is a well-known UK expert on collections management who advises, teaches and lectures internationally. Currently Director of Matassa Toffolo, a museum-standard art consultancy, former Head of Collections Management at Tate Galleries and co-founder of the European Registrars Conference, she is expert adviser on several European projects for museum standards and to the Minister of Culture on Immunity from Seizure. She was named one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in the arts and is the author of Museum Collections Management (Facet, 2011) and Organizing Exhibitions (Facet, 2014).

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Emergency planning for Special Collections

Flames

An open access chapter from the new edition of Alison Cullingford’s Special Collections Handbook is now available to view and download from the Facet Publishing website.

The chapter discusses threats that can destroy collections or items within them very quickly: the timescale for effective action is much shorter, so prevention, planning and rapid response are essential. The chapter covers:

  1. Causes and impact of emergencies in Special Collections, with particular emphasis on fire and water damage.
  2. How to prevent and prepare for emergencies via the emergency plan.
  3. Issues in responding to and recovering from emergencies.
  4. Planning for service continuity.
  5. Security issues and how to manage them
  6. Insurance issues.

Fully updated since the first edition, the Handbook covers all aspects of special collections work: preservation, developing collections, understanding objects, emergency planning, security, legal and ethical concerns, cataloguing, digitization, marketing, outreach, teaching, impact, advocacy and fundraising.

More information about the book and the open access chapter are available on the Facet website.

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Long-awaited new edition of the Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections now available

Facet Publishing have announced the release of the 3rd edition of the Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.9781783300167

The Directory is the only publication to bring together rare book and special collections from all kinds of libraries across the UK and Ireland and is an essential research tool for researchers and librarians throughout the world.

Fully updated since the second edition was published in 1997, this comprehensive and up-to-date guide encompasses collections held in national libraries, academic libraries,  public libraries, subscription libraries, clergy libraries, libraries for other professions, school libraries, companies, London clubs, museums and archives, and libraries in stately homes.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford said, “The new edition is a long-awaited reference work which will help researchers identify the UK and Republic of Ireland’s great collections of research materials. It provides detailed and authoritative information and is a must for all serious researchers.”

Edited by Karen Attar, Curator of Rare Books and University Art at Senate House Library, The Directory:

  • contains a national, cross-sectoral overview of rare book and special collections
  • offers full contact details, and descriptions of rare book and named special collections including quantities and particular subject and language strengths
  • provides a quick and easy summary of individual libraries’ holdings
  • directs researchers to the libraries most relevant for them
  • assists libraries to evaluate their special collections according to a ‘unique and distinctive’ model
  • enables libraries to make informed decisions about acquisition and collaboration
  • helps booksellers and donors to target offers.

David Prosser, Executive Director of Research Libraries UK said, “Together, institutions in the UK and Ireland hold unrivalled special collections.  From our great National Libraries, through university collections to the smaller collections of specialist societies, cathedrals, historic homes, and museums we have a centuries-old tradition of collecting, preserving and giving access.  Scholars from around the world and across disciplinary differences rely on the treasures held by libraries listed in the Directory to pursue their research and help us make sense of the world in which we live.”