--- On Thu, 4/15/10, Mark Durenberger <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From the perspective of a Museum operative (Pavek) it should be noted that in today's environment it's difficult to accept a collection without also finding the funding for the collection's preservation. It's too bad, but that's often the situation...
While I cannot comment specifically about the collection being discussed (I don't know its contents or condition), I believe there are very few administrators who value such material. I am reminded of one wonderful exception, a man named Harry Ransom. He collected manuscripts, books, etc. Harry also siphoned off funds from the library budget to buy collections. There was no building, and no infrastucture to deal with the mass of materials he collected. However, now we have, with the Harry Ransom Center, here on our campus, one of the finest rare book libraries. In short, there are other viable perspectives.
In sharp contrast, our library system on campus is no longer accepting any gifts of materials and is shutting down its gifts processing.
It would seem to me that the rejection of a collection should be based upon its contents, the amount of duplication, condition and other factors.
It also seems to me that we are living in a time when many ageing baby boomers will begin divesting themselves of their collections. Younger generations seem to have less interest in acquiring "objects." Hence, I believe that potentially, libraries and archives are about to see the last significant opportunity to acquire "objects."
From my perspective, unless attitudes in libraries change, a substantive portion of our cultural and intellectual history will be lost.