RLI 279
June 2012
Research Library Issues: A Quarterly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC
T
he ARL Working Group on Transforming Special Collections in the Digital Age is focusing on a
range of issues including the realignment and mainstreaming of special collections functions in
ARL libraries, indicators for the strengths of special collections, and development of skills in the
areas of digital and data curation. Other issues for the working group are legal concerns and evolving
professional practices around digitizing special collections and archival materials.
This issue of RLI addresses the latter two issues. ARL member libraries have embraced digitization—
performed in-house or through commercial vendors—as a critical strategy to increase access to their
unique collections. In their introduction to this special
issue, Peter B. Hirtle, Anne R. Kenney, and Judy
Ruttenberg highlight the ongoing commitment to
increasing exposure, access, and discovery of archival
and manuscript material in the research mainstream,
reaching undergraduates to senior scholars. Access to
digitized archival material has dramatically changed the
way research can be done. This change has challenged
libraries and special collections librarians and curators
to consider evolving professional practices and legal
obligations. Also in this issue is a model digitization
contract for use with outside vendors, as well as model
“deeds of gift” that can secure permission from rights
holders to make donated material accessible on the
web. Finally, Kevin L. Smith, Director of Scholarly
Communications at Duke University, presents a critical
essay on a new way of thinking about copyright and risk
management in digitizing special collections.
In This Issue
Digitization of Special Collections
and Archives 2
Model Deed of Gift 5
Model Deed of Gift, including Mixed IP
Rights 7
Model Digitization Agreement 10
Copyright Risk Management 17
Special Issue on
Special Collections and Archives in the Digital Age