- Council of State University Libraries (CSUL)
- CSUL Committees
- CSUL Task Forces
Special Collections of the state universities of Florida hold significant unique and primary research materials, which as a whole provide a substantial research resource for Florida. The Special Collections Subcommittee (SCS) exists to facilitate collaborative opportunities (with other committees as appropriate) for increasing access to special collections through acquisitions, processing, preservation, and digitization initiatives; strengthen the rare and unique collections that bring distinction to the state university libraries; and provide a common venue for exchanging information and developing shared solutions and best practices for managing special collections held by the State University Libraries of Florida (SUL).
The most important reason for SCS to exist is to increase access to special collections held by SUL. Special collections are increasingly seen as elements of distinction that differentiate an academic or research library from its peers. The ARL has identified the need to provide access to “hidden” special collections as one of the most critical needs of academic and research libraries. When surveyed, the heads of each of the special collections identified their largest barrier to access as lack of resources for processing special collections. The SCS recognizes that digitization is the ideal end-goal to provide full access to special collections. Before special collections can be digitized, however, they must be processed and described (cataloged) in an electronic finding aid. The lack of adequate staffing and funding levels for processing and creating EAD finding aids poses the most significant barrier to potential state-wide digitization projects.