Archive and Special Collections

Communication and dialogue

Setting up our Archive and Special Collections had the potential of inconveniencing some of our users, while we assessed the rarest and most valuable of our material.

So it proved for Mr Marsden who having come all the way from Huddersfield found our collection of rare West Yorkshire Society of Architects Journals inaccessible.  A lack of communication on our part?  In retrospect we had not moved quickly enough to indicate in our on-line catalogue that this and other material were now in the care of our archive and special collections, although we had intentions to make this so.
With the help and advice of colleagues, as a temporary measure, I have added a note to the records indicating the new arrangement.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mr.Marsden and was able to apologise for this inconvenience and explain what we are trying to achieve with our collections. He was most knowledgeable about the journals and provided other useful information. Despite his earlier problems he appeared to appreciate our efforts and found some unexpected items of interest among the journals.

Often visitors to our archive and special collections do find something interesting, useful and pertinent to their researches. But visitors also frequently add to our collections bringing their knowledge, perspective and generosity. The resulting dialogue enhances our understanding and appreciation of our own holdings.  Hopefully, our communications are restored.

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By Dr Keith Rowntree
16 Nov 2017
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