Category: resources

IFLA WLIC 2021 – get your e-Library ticket now! 0

IFLA WLIC 2021 – get your e-Library ticket now!

This year’s World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), the annual big-tent event put on by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), was delivered virtually over a three-day period. In pre-pandemic times, WLICs take place over a six- or seven-day period, with hundreds of standing committee meetings, paper sessions, governance meetings, poster and vendor exhibitions and cultural events taking place. This years virtual alternative strove to bring together some of the magic of being together in-person, whilst also delivering new kinds of content and sessions, and also across multiple time-zones to a global audience. One of the major benefits of...

CANCELLED /// Call for Papers –  Islamic Manuscripts and Imprints: Special Needs and International Endeavors 0

CANCELLED /// Call for Papers – Islamic Manuscripts and Imprints: Special Needs and International Endeavors

[We are sorry to announce that we had to cancel the mid-term meeting we were supposed to hold in Alexandria this year, due to the current events in the Middle East preventing several of us from traveling to Egypt. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. Above all, we are sorry we cannot organize the conference on the Islamic Manuscripts and Prints. We are looking for solutions and still haven’t made a decision about postponing it or just cancelling it] IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Conference, Bibliotheca Alexandria (Alexandria, Egypt), March 19th, 2020             The IFLA Rare Books...

University Libraries and the Sendai Framework 0

University Libraries and the Sendai Framework

Funding cuts, climate change, conflict, natural hazards and other disruptive events are affecting cultural heritage around the world, including special collections held in libraries. The protection of heritage during disruptive events contributes to the international agenda for risk reduction via the priorities outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the leading guide for disaster risk reduction across the globe. The framework states the importance of protecting heritage from disruptive events via Priority 3: Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience 30 (d) which states the protection or support of the protection, for cultural and collecting institutions, and...

IFLA Survey on Rare Materials Cataloguing with RDA 1

IFLA Survey on Rare Materials Cataloguing with RDA

Standardized cataloguing of rare materials has always been a complex matter, historically fragmented within geographical regions until the arrival in the 1980s of standardized models, such as ISBD and DCRM, which were quickly adopted internationally. In general, rare materials are never the first to adopt new standards. Manuscripts are a good example: DCRM(MSS) was first published in 2016 and ISBD has not  included unpublished resources until its current revision. Complex in themselves and full of details that need a thorough guidance for an accurate description, rare materials’ relationship with standardization has always been a love-hate one: such a structured description...

Call for paper: Crisis or Enlightenment? Developments in the Book Trade (1650-1750) 0

Call for paper: Crisis or Enlightenment? Developments in the Book Trade (1650-1750)

Crisis or Enlightenment? Developments in the Book Trade (1650-1750) St Andrews Book Conference, 20-22 June 2019 It has never been questioned that the European Enlightenment was made by books. The intellectual movement which swept across Europe and the Atlantic world from the end of the seventeenth century was fostered, expressed and realised by a sophisticated international market for books. Complex ventures such as Bayle’s Dictionnaire and the ever-expanding number of periodicals indicate that authors and intellectuals were keenly aware of print as a powerful tool. Yet did the book trade reciprocate this enthusiasm? How far did the book market embrace the...



JORNADA “O TRÁFICO ILÍCITO DO PATRIMÔNIO BIBLIOGRÁFICO NA AMÉRICA LATINA E CARIBE” Organiza: Fundación Biblioteca Nacional del Brasil & IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section Está abierta la convocatoria de trabajos a ser presentados durante la II Jornada IFLA El tráfico ilícito del patrimonio bibliográfico en América Latina y el Caribe a realizarse el 28 de noviembre de 2018, en la Biblioteca Nacional del Brasil – Auditorio Machado de Assis – en la ciudad de Río de Janeiro. De acuerdo con IFLA Cultural Heritage Programme Advisory Committee, el patrimonio cultural consiste en bienes tangibles e intangibles, naturales y culturales,...


Survey on rare materials cataloguing with RDA

In the last years an increasing number of libraries are adopting RDA as a cataloguing standard. Still, what happens to their rare materials? Is RDA fit for the description of their rare books, their manuscripts, their graphic and cartographic materials, their music? Will it be able to overtake extremely detailed rules such as DCRM or ISBD? Probably not by itself, although the RSC, aware of the complexity of the situation, already has a Rare Materials Working Group managing some of the points where RDA collides with the needs of the description of rare materials. But it could very well accomplish...


Programme now available for IFLA RBSCS Mid-term conference!

The programme for the IFLA Rare Books & Special Collections section mid-term conference has now been published! You can view it below or download it here.   Libraries in the sky large-scale collaboration strategies and infrastructures to enhance the use of digital heritage collections National Library of Norway (Oslo), 12 April 2018 09:00: Coffee, welcome and opening: Hege Stensrud Høsøien, National Library of Norway Helen Vincent, Chair of IFLA RBSC section 09:30-10:30 Digital Discovery of Cultural Heritage Treasures V. Zupan: Legacy Treasure of the “Svetozar Markovic” university library in Belgrade: Experience from a Digital Environment P. Granholm: Manuscripta – a...


Towards the new RDA Toolkit: RSC meeting in Madrid

The RDA Steering Committee convened last week in Madrid, at the National Library of Spain, in the context of its 3R Project (RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign Project). Along with the closed business meetings, the institution hosted two open sessions. In the first, “Towards the new RDA Toolkit”, RSC members explained the recent restructure of the tool and discussed topics of interest such as serials, aggregates, the development of attributes as relations and types of description. The new Toolkit will be a much more helpful tool for the cataloguer, as it allows each institution to display its policy statements together...


“We don’t know” – a report from the beginning of the EMo Book Trade Project (ERC)

My personal teaching collection of early modern books counts one book printed in England, more specifically an ordinary duodecimo from Westminster. It is a 18th-century, corrected edition of George Ruggle’s Ignoramus. Comoedia. “Ignoramus” in Latin litterally means “we don’t know”, and refers in the play to an ignorant lawyer, who is a real dummkopf. Ruggle (1575–1622) based the Neolatin college play on Giambattista della Porta’s La Trappolaria, which was in turn an adaptation of Plautus’ Pseudolus. The satire, which makes a vicious attack on judiciary, was for the first time staged in Clare College, Cambridge, on 8 March 1615. King...


Helping the profession to define new standards for preservation

In August 2016, IFLA launched the survey on standards, guidelines, and best practises for the preservation and conservation of library materials. Why are we doing this? In the IFLA Strategic Plan, it states that IFLA will help with developing standards for the collection and preservation of content in its diverse forms.  In order to start this task, we have created a survey which will give us an overview of what standards, guidelines, and best practises are currently used by the profession when it comes to preservation and conservation or any materials held in libraries. The aim of the survey is...


Autumn courses at Rare Books School (Virginia, USA)

This fall, Rare Book School will offer three courses that may be of interest to members of the IFLA Rare & Special community. — Special Collections Librarianship aims to teach the current issues, best practices, organizational development, knowledge and skills surrounding special collections librarianship. Taught by Michael Inman, Curator of Rare Books for the New York Public Library, at the main branch of NYPL, this course is a must-take for early-career professionals interested in special collections and for those who have not taken formal special collections coursework. (The full course description and advance reading list can be found at


Draft standard available for public comment / Public Services in Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries

The SAA–ACRL/RBMS Joint Task Force on the Development of Standardized Statistical Measures for Public Services in Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries has posted for public comment an initial draft standard. The task force, which was formed in 2015, arose from the profession’s recognition of the need to be able to to “gather and analyze evidence concerning the effectiveness of their services and the efficiency of their operations” (Dupont, 2012). This desire was so visible that an entire special issue of RBM was dedicated to addressing concerns and needs. The Joint Task Force is responsible for development of a new standard defining...


Report from the IFLA Brazil PAC Centre – A view on the conservation and restoration of the National Library collection

A report from the Center of Technical Processes and Preservation Coordination of Preservation, Biblioteca Nacional  The Coordination of Preservation is made up by the Conservation and Binding Center and the Restoration Laboratory, each respectively carrying out the conservation, restoration, binding and the packing of books and documents with different degrees of deterioration. Those items that show a high degree of deterioration for which conservation techniques are not sufficient to structurally restore them are sent for restoration. All the books and documents that make up the immense collection of the National Library, from journals and general books to those belonging to special...

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