Treasured documents and artifacts held by Haverford College Special Collections will be preserved for future generations with help from the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of conservation books, DVDs, and online resources donated by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funding of the nation’s museums and libraries.
Special Collections has been awarded this essential set of resources based on an application describing the needs and plans for care of our collections. The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in museums and special collections. It addresses such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues.
Haverford’s application emphasized the ongoing care our collections receive under the stewardship of Library Conservator Bruce Bumbarger. Bruce’s own personal library provides guidance on specific conservation treatments, but the IMLS Bookshelf will provide more depth in terms of general preservation-related information. Additionally, the Bookshelf will prove to be a worthy resource which we can share with our Tri-College counterparts at Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges.
Our greatest challenge to date is providing adequate housing for our materials. Storage space has reached capacity for some portions of our collection. During the coming year some pressure will be relieved by the reconfiguration of approximately 1600 square feet of general stack space into an annex to our Special Collections. Still, this newly converted space will require careful monitoring to ensure the longevity of such precious materials.
Haverford College Special Collections is responsible for maintaining the college’s unique and rare materials. The principle collections include the world-renowned Quaker Collection, college archives, rare books and manuscripts, and fine art.