SPEC Kit 307: Manuscript Collections on the Web (October 2008)

This SPEC Kit investigates how many manuscript collections are held in ARL member libraries; what percentage of these collections are represented on the Web; what types of information about the collections are available in finding aids and on the Web; what formats are used for finding aids on the Web; how many library staff are working on manuscript collections, the challenges and benefits of migrating collection information to the Web, and whether and how usage of manuscript collection information is tracked.

The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in February 2008. Seventy-two libraries completed the survey by the March 31 deadline for a response rate of 59%. The survey responses indicated that the respondents are all managing to get at least some information about their manuscript collections onto the Web. Most of the comments indicated that they want to get more there, but are unable to do so for a variety of reasons, primarily staff and time constraints. Almost all respondents are creating MARC records for their collections; fewer are creating EAD finding aids. A select few have all their manuscript collections represented on the Web in some way, either as a MARC record, a brief blurb in HTML, or an EAD finding aid.

This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of manuscript collection Web sites, finding aid Web sites, arrangement and description guidelines, and Web processing procedures.

Table of Contents

SPEC Kit 307: Manuscript Collections on the Web (October 2008)