Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections

Over the period 2008-2014 and with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through its Cataloging Hidden Collections program, CLIR awarded over $27.5 million to a wide variety of institutions in the United States and Canada to catalog collections of rare and unique materials. Drawing on lessons learned through that program, the advice of this project’s curriculum committee, and the results of a public survey issued in April 2016, CLIR is pleased to offer a new educational resource: Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections (SAHC). Centered around a series of six 90-minute recorded webinars, SAHC also includes a resource library of references related to techniques and best practices for increasing the visibility, usability, and sustainability of collections in the gallery, library, archive, and museum community. Following the series, CLIR hosted a one-hour Q&A panel with experts from the sessions and from the project planning team discussing common problems related to working with hidden collections. The SAHC project was coordinated by Joy M. Banks, MSLS, Library & Archives Consultant. The components of the series follow, including links to further information:

January 11, 2017

Where to begin: Basics of project planning for GLAM organizations

Featured speaker: Angela Kipp, Collection Manager, TECHNOSEUM and Administrator, Registrar Trek. Slides only | Slides with script | Script only | Recommended Resources | Evaluation Survey

The first webinar in the series provides a solid understanding of successful project preparation.

January 18, 2017

Building resources and relationships: Determining what and who you need

Featured speaker: Rosemary Pleva Flynn, Principal Librarian, Library and Information Services Team Lead, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota. Slides only | Slides with script | Script only | Recommended Resources | Evaluation Survey

The second webinar in the series provides an overview of issues related to budget creation and management.

January 25, 2017

Making the most of people: Recruitment, retention, and recognition

Featured speaker: Sarah Leu, Project Archivist, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Slides only | Slides with script | Script only | Recommended Resources | Evaluation Survey

The third webinar in the series addresses personnel issues, from full-time staff to interns and volunteers.

February 1, 2017

Collection access: Describing, cataloging, and processing with the future in mind

Featured speaker: Beth Knazook, Library Juice Academy and Queen’s University. Slides only | Slides with script | Script only | Recommended Resources | Evaluation Survey

The fourth webinar in the series discusses issues related to cataloging and processing.

February 8, 2017

Overcoming project hurdles: Approaches to identifying and managing collection red flags

Featured speakers: Jessica Bitely, Director of Preservation Services, Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC); and Yvonne Ng, Senior Archivist, WITNESS. Slides only | Slides with script | Script only | Recommended Resources | Evaluation Survey

The fifth webinar in the series discusses a variety of challenges professionals may encounter as they care for their collections.

February 15, 2017

Closing the loop: Project assessment and leveraging goals for future planning Featured speaker: Ellen Ryan, Head of Special Collections and Archives and Assistant Professor, Idaho State University. Slides only | Slides with script | Script only | Recommended Resources | Evaluation Survey

The sixth and final webinar in the series considers what happens as a project concludes, including issues related to outreach and assessment.


For the benefit of those who would like to plan similar projects, CLIR has the following resources:

Strategies for Advancing Hidden Collections Curriculum Committee

  • Stephanie Gaub Antequino, Memorabilia Archivist, Planet Hollywood International
  • Casey Davis, Project Manager, American Archive of Public Broadcasting, WGBH-Boston
  • Tamar Evangelista-Dougherty, Consultant
  • Linda Hocking, Curator of Library and Archives, Litchfield Historical Society
  • Daniel Johnson, Digital Preservation Librarian, University of Iowa
  • Holly Mengel, Manuscripts Cataloging Librarian, University of Pennsylvania
  • Matthew Peek, Military Collections Archivist, State Archives of North Carolina
  • Kelly Revak, Processing Archivist, Library of Congress