Catalonia libraries special collections

The concept of special collections in library science refers to those unique collections of valuable and unique materials such as manuscripts, rare books, personal papers and archival material. These include all types of materials such as photographs, drawings, letters, posters, brochures, maps, musical scores, journals, etc.

Diffusion of special collections has a double goal: providing access to primary resources to researchers, as they are considered key elements for research, and also acting as a source of dissemination of the Catalan history and culture.

Special collections are also called 'hidden collections' because they often have had a poor control as libraries have tended to catalogue and to give more visibility to specialised material from acquisitions, donation or exchange.

But thanks to consortial borrowing and consortial acquisitions relevant subject materials are available to everyone and its importance decreases, in contrast to the need for a comprehensive access to special collections.

This portal lists special collections and personal papers belonging to CCUC libraries, the union catalogue managed by the CSUC. These collections are constantly growing since CSUC special collections project encourages libraries to identify and catalogue them. Some of these collections are digitized and integrated in digital repositories such as Digital Memory of Catalonia (MDC), but most of them are waiting for future digitization projects.