From Indiana University:
Indiana University has revealed its first University Collections Strategic Plan to guide the care, preservation and use of more than 220 collections of material objects entrusted to IU, such as those in the Lilly Library of Rare Books, the Eskenazi Museum of Art and the Kinsey Institute.
For the past two centuries, IU has accumulated unique and irreplaceable material of enormous value. Though not always thought of in these terms, collections such as these can be among a university’s most valuable resources. Recognizing this, President Michael A. McRobbie presented a call to action in his 2017 State of the University address to establish a University Collections initiative.
To lead this strategic initiative, Heather Calloway was hired as the inaugural leader of University Collections following a national search during summer 2018.
Calloway hit the ground running. In her first 14 months on the job, she and her colleagues worked to, among other activities:
Identify all of the collections housed at Indiana University (222, up from the 50 originally identified).
- Meet with all of the collections managers across the university.
- Establish a collections advisory council.
- Identify security and other protection issues affecting IU’s most significant collections.
- Begin the process of valuing IU’s most significant collections.
- Plan and implement a traveling collection in celebration of the IU Bicentennial.
- Address urgent issues with specific collections.
- Establish the office and hire two additional staff members.
- Craft and garner approval of the University Collections Strategic Plan.
Throughout the next three years, IU Collections will create universitywide guidelines for collections management and care, and they will work with collections managers as needed throughout the university to address needs for storage, environmental control and risk management. This will include creating a template for assessing these issues and offering training for collection staff in these areas.
University Collections also will increase the digital presence of all of IU’s collections by maintaining and expanding the IU Collections website. They will also work with collection managers to ensure each collection has a dedicated web page that provides information such as collections description, mission statement and contact information, as well as digital access to key holdings of each collection. A more robust digital presence will not only expand access for the public but also help increase the use of collections in research and teaching.