Special Collections

The Special Collections Community of Interest (COI) grew out of discussions by the BLC Board in 2012-13 that acknowledged the increasingly important and integrated roles that special collections and archives play in academic libraries through their curation of distinctive collections and their engagement with teaching, learning, research, and other core library functions.

Some of our recent initiatives have included:

  • active learning with special collections
  • digital preservation tools and practices
  • sharing special collections via interlibrary loan

The Special Collections COI is open to collaboration with other COIs, and everyone who is employed at a BLC member library is welcome to participate in our COI meetings and activities. We invite you to join our COI mailing list so that you will receive notifications and join in discussions.


Membership in the Special Collections COI is open to special collections librarians, archivists, digitization and digital preservation specialists, and others who share an interest in special collectionswho are currently employed at a BLC member library.


The Special Collections COI meets about once a month during the academic year. Most meetings are held virtually, but we sometimes convene for longer meetings or workshops at a member institution. Such occasions typically include a luncheon and tour of their special collections and archives facilities.