Obtaining a great collection of papers from a scholar or organization or other types of unique materials can be a significant accomplishment for the special collections department of an academic research library. Increasingly, what makes an academic library unique or distinctive is the content of its special collections and archives. According to the New York Times article “In University Holdings, Entry to History and Culture“, these collections can also serve to enhance the reputation of the institution as a resource for global scholars. The article states:
U.T.-Arlington officials, meanwhile, hope their future William Blair Collection will bolster their library’s reputation as a repository for artifacts of black history. For universities striving to improve their reputation — particularly the handful, including U.T.-Arlington, vying to be the state’s next Tier 1 research institution — special collections can provide a boost. And for a general public largely unaware of the items stored in public universities, they can be a veritable treasure-trove.“Tier 1 is all about scholarship and recognition by your peers from around the world for the great and wonderful research that you do,” said Ronald L. Elsenbaumer, the provost at U.T.-Arlington. “And special collections bring that uniqueness to your university. Having those unique, scholarly activities going on that distinguish you, that’s important.”
The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Temple University Libraries is just such a collection of unique materials with a focus on 20th century Philadelphia history. With the recent addition of content from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News Archives and the papers of Lew Klein, the SCRC helps to build the reputation of Temple University as a unique research source for scholars. Visit the SCRC soon to learn more about the fantastic collections of unique primary research material waiting for you at Temple University Libraries.