January 18, 2022

New Journal Article: “Measuring the Impact of Special Collections and Archives in the Digital Age: Opportunities and Challenges”

The article linked to below was recently published by LIBER Quarterly (The Journal of the Association of European Research Libraries).


Measuring the Impact of Special Collections and Archives in the Digital Age: Opportunities and Challenges


Christina Kamposiori


LIBER Quarterly, 30(1)
November 28, 2020


This paper is based on the outcome of a recent Research Libraries UK (RLUK) project that aimed to explore and understand the approaches employed by RLUK members for capturing and measuring the impact of activities based on special collections and archives. In today’s constantly evolving information and scholarly environment, educational and cultural institutions, such as research libraries, are faced with a pressing demand to assess the value of their services and evidence their impact. As part of our goal to develop a better understanding of how research libraries respond to this demand, we collected and analysed case-study and survey data from across the RLUK membership that show the practices and methods of research libraries for increasing and assessing the impact of their collections and related services. As our results showed, research libraries increasingly employ audience-focused strategies and take advantage of the new possibilities offered by the digital age to enhance access to collections, reach a range of audience groups and achieve greater impact. However, a number of issues, such as the lack of structured methodologies to capture and evaluate the full reach of digital collections and resources or the long-term impact of collections, can make the process of measuring and evidencing value a challenging task for institutions. In this paper, we will present some of the key findings showing the pathways to impact followed by special collection and archive professionals in the UK and Ireland and reflect on the opportunities and challenges that the digital era presents for increasing and measuring this impact.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.