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New Registry of Hidden Special Collections and Archives

An exciting new development has taken place for CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Program. Since 2008, Program Officer Amy Lucko and I have been collecting data about unprocessed and recently processed library, archival, and museum collections across the United States. One of our goals has been to make this information available to the public through a web-based browsable registry of hidden materials. Our hope is that increased awareness of these materials will help cultural heritage institutions attract partners, volunteers, or funding to support better preservation and description of their collections. In addition, we hope scholars and their students will use the registry to find previously unused and underused materials and/or promising new avenues for research.

After working on this project for over a year, we are pleased to announce that the first 321 records are now searchable on CLIR’s website at this URL:

When you have a moment, we invite you to visit and browse descriptions of hidden and recently “unhidden” collections by holding institution type, by material type, and even by subject. As we continue to add to our records, we will be working to optimize the registry’s usability and functionality, as well as to provide ways for contributors to correct or add to the information there. If you give it a try and have feedback to offer, please log in and leave your comments below, or write me directly at

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