of things they haven’t got….Everybody worships truth, purity, unselfishness for
the same reason—because they have no experience of them.”26 Following Shaw,
we could simply dismiss the slang as the inflated, self-important expressions of
the unknowing. But we know Shaw to be wrong and so I commend to you the
response of Laura Hotman, a senior curator at the New Museum of
Contemporary Art. The author of the Times article on curating asked Ms.
Hotman what she thought of the slang expression. “It doesn’t really bother
me,” she said. “Actually, I’m hoping its popularity will spawn a reality show—
maybe ‘Top Curator.’”27 Wouldn’t that be fun!
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank my Mellon Foundation colleagues,
Helen Cullyer and Susanne Pichler, for their help at various stages in the composition
of this paper. Paul Duguid also read a version of the paper and offered a number of
Donald J. Waters, “The Implications of the Draft Report of the Task Force on Digital Archiving,” in
Proceedings of the 127th Membership Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries (Washington DC: ARL,
William Safire, “Kiduage,” New York Times Magazine, October 8, 1995: 28, 30,
Alex Williams, “On the Tips of Creative Tongues: Curate,” New York Times, Sunday Styles section,
October 4, 2009: 1, 8, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/fashion/04curate.html.
Donald J. Waters and John Garrett, eds., Preserving Digital Information: Report of the Task Force on
Archiving of Digital Information (Washington DC and Mountain View CA: The Commission on
Preservation and Access and the Research Libraries Group, 1996),
Ibid., 46, n. 5.
See for example, Philip Lord et al., “From Data Deluge to Data Curation,” in Proceedings
of the UK e-Science All Hands Meeting 2004 (Nottingham UK: UKOLN, 2004): 371–375,
Elizabeth Yakel, “Digital Curation,” OCLC Systems & Services 23, no. 4 (2007): 335–340.
Special Collections in ARL Libraries: A Discussion Report from the ARL Working Group on Special Collections
(Washington DC: ARL, 2009), http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/scwg-report.pdf.
See for example, Mary Lynn McCree, “Good Sense and Good Judgment: Defining Collections and
Collecting” (1975), reprinted in Maygene F. Daniels and Timothy Walch, eds., A Modern Archives
Reader: Basic Readings on Archival Theory and Practice (Washington DC: National Archives, 1984):
103–113; Linda J. Henry, “Collecting Policies of Special-Subject Repositories,” American Archivist 43, no.
1 (1980): 57–63; William L. Joyce, “The Evolution of the Concept of Special Collections in American
Research Libraries,” Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarianship 3 (1988): 19–29; Michael T. Ryan,
“Developing Special Collections in the ‘90s: A fin-de-siècle Perspective,” Journal of Academic
Librarianship 17 (1991): 288–293; Susan M. Allen, “Special Collections Outside the Ivory Tower,” Library
Trends 52, no. 1 (2003): 60–68; Frank Boles, Selecting & Appraising Archives & Manuscripts (Chicago:
Society of American Archivists, 2005).
See for example, Beth M. Whittaker, “‘Get It, Catalog It, Promote It’: New Challenges to Providing
Access to Special Collections,” RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 7, no. 2
(2006): 121; Rick Anderson, “Future-Proofing the Library: Strategies for Acquisitions, Cataloging, and
Collection Development,” Serials Librarian 55, no. 4 (2008): 563; Paul S. Koda, “The Past Is More than
Prologue: Special Collections Assume Central Role in Historical Research and Redefine Research
Library Collections,” Library Quarterly 78, no. 4 (2008): 474; Sarah M. Pritchard, “Special Collections to
the Fore,” Portal 9, no. 2 (2009): 177; cf. Anthony Grafton, “Future Reading: Digitization and Its
Discontents,” New Yorker, November 5, 2007: 50–54.
Brian F. Lavoie et al., “Anatomy of Aggregate Collections: The Example of Google Print for Libraries,”
D-Lib Magazine 11, no. 9 (2005), http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september05/lavoie/09lavoie.html; Roger
C. Schonfeld and Brian F. LaVoie, “Books without Boundaries: A Brief Tour of the System-Wide Print
The Changing Role of Special Collections in Scholarly Communications
C O N T I N U E D
DECEMBER 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC