American Collections blog

28 June 2010

Building the Collections: Donations and Acquisitions


Cover of Michaud, F. and Léonidas,  J. R. Rêver d’Haïti en Couleurs (Montreal, 2009)

[P.J.H writes] Today (Friday) has been a chance to sit down and take a deep breath from a busy week of giving papers, listening to seminars and organising events due in the far future. ‘Sitting down and taking a breath’ in Library terms means doing all important collection management; in particular acquiring monographs and processing donated items.

For me acquisitions are a largely Web 2.0 affair as most of our vendors operate impressive collection management systems or send lists of material in PDF form. This is all very neat and, as my orders are processed at Boston Spa, saves me getting swamped in the paper records and piles of material that can arrive at once.

That said, I do get envious of our Latin American Curator, Aquiles, who has huge packs of books deposited on his desk every couple of weeks. Therefore, one of my little joys is processing donations, of which the Library receives a generous flow from Canada and the Caribbean. When these materials arrive it’s a chance to have contact with some very interesting work and interact physically with material being added to the collection.

I can’t show you the things processed today as they are not in the collection yet but a few months ago the above, Rêver d’Haïti en Couleurs (Motreal: 2009), was donated to the Library’s Caribbean collections. Rêver d’Haïti en Couleurs documents the wonderful artistic heritage of Haiti in sumptuous detail and I would recommend having a look. If you would like to it’s at shelfmark LD.31.b.2210.

[P. J. H.]


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