Call for Chapter Proposals: The 21st Century Special Collections Reader

The 21st Century Special Collections Reader: contemporary approaches for special collections

Call for Chapter Proposals

Due February 1, 2015

The 21st Century Special Collections Reader will feature essays from emerging professionals and accomplished librarians and archivists, on a variety of topics that illustrate the depth, diversity, and complexity related to the broad realm of special collections in libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage organizations. Special collections work in libraries is not just about “old books.” We seek essays that describe current, pragmatic approaches to special collections work from collections of all kinds, sizes, and resource levels, and the diverse professionals that work within them, as well as reflective “thought pieces” about our current professional environments.We particularly welcome new perspectives on traditional roles and responsibilities and compelling examinations of the work of the contemporary cultural heritage professional.

Tentative topics include: curation in an age when the concept of curation is diluted; donor relations and administration; advocacy and marketing; the intersection of curation and digital humanities; “atypical” special collections; open access and open culture; linked data, metadata, and data wrangling.

Other ideas for chapters that reflect both current challenges and potential future frontiers are encouraged. Our target audience includes working professionals, students, and library administrators.

While we are not yet formally contracted, the publisher that we are currently working with has strong open access policies that currently meet institutional mandates in place at the editors’ respective institutions, and we are assured of the same for chapter contributors.

The editors:

Beth M. Whittaker and Lynne M. Thomas published Special Collections 2.0: New Technologies for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archival Collections in 2009, an influential text that continues to be a popular title from Libraries Unlimited. Between the two of them, the editors have written dozens of journal articles, edited several publications, and taught in two different library schools.

Submission procedure:

Prospective authors are asked to submit a Word document summary of their chapter concept, no more than one page in length, by February 1, 2015 to Lynne M. Thomas ( Authors will be notified about the status of their proposals as soon as possible after the deadline. More information about style and formatting guidelines will be provided to authors whose proposals are accepted, but final chapters will likely be 4500-9000 words.  We anticipate final chapters to be due June 1, 2015, although deadlines may be adjusted for revision and other concerns.



About Lynne M. Thomas

Lynne M. Thomas is a nine time Hugo Award winning editor and podcaster. In her day job, she is Head of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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