58  ·  Survey Results:  Survey Questions and Responses
Strategy 1 Strategy 2 Strategy 3
Work with conservation unit to properly
box and store diverse materials on
shelving designed for books and
document boxes.
Experimenting with web applications
(custom databases, inventory tools, and
web sites, or OMEKA) to provide access
pathways for selected materials and
Partnering with other institutions/
organizations to provide access to
selected materials and collections,
such as papyri, clay tablets, medieval
manuscripts, and architectural archives.
36. Please indicate how satisfied you are overall with your strategy for managing art objects and/or
artifacts using a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very dissatisfied and 5 is very satisfied. N=56
1 Very Dissatisfied 7 13%
2 7 13%
3 Neutral 22 39%
4 19 34%
5 Very Satisfied 1 2%
Additional Comments
37. Please enter any additional information that may assist the authors’ understanding of your
library’s experience with managing art objects and artifacts. N=28
Arts Library Special Collections is a newer department in the Yale library structure. It is approximately 15 years old and
developed all of its current policies and procedures in that time.
Because they are not integral to our mission (except occasionally in the University Archives) we have not made their care
a priority in any way.
Books and things used to share the same spaces in both libraries and museums, but were segregated into their separate
spaces by the late 18th century, which is the way they have been treated since. (Michel Foucault made this a focus of
his book,
Les Mots et les
choses, in 1966.) We are gradually moving back toward a more liberal view of museal objects
being appropriate for us as a research library to collect, in part because of the growing prominence of special collections
in all libraries the result not only of the growing value of unique holdings in light of their potential for digital projects, but
also of the steady advance of computing speed and storage, which makes image (both still and moving), sound, and
other media databases an increasingly realizable (and affordable) medium for preservation and access.
Collection of arts/artifacts is not our primary collecting objective. Often items come in as additions to manuscript
collections. We have worked to add these items to our collection in a balanced effort to respect donated items.
I have only recently joined the library, and will be working with others to develop a more systematic way of handling
these collections.
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