Special Collections Mission Statement and Collection Policy
Fleet Special Collections Center
In accordance with the mission statements of Siena College and the Standish Library, the Special Collections Center exists primarily to support the College’s curriculum by collecting, preserving and providing access to rare books, manuscripts, manuscript leaves, facsimile editions and other special materials which cannot be safely housed or preserved in the Library’s main collection spaces.
Its purpose is to enhance Siena College Library’s general collection, to support the teaching and research programs of the College, and to provide opportunities for research to Siena faculty, students and local scholars. The Special Collections Center also exists to provide Siena College students with an introductory experience in using a rare book room. Through classes and exhibits as well as visits to the Center, students are made aware of the etiquette, security arrangements and restrictions involved in using special collections and they are informed about the conservation efforts made to preserve these materials for future generations.
The Siena College Special Collections consists primarily of old and rare books, autographed copies, limited edition books, documents, manuscripts, manuscript leaves, facsimile editions, photographs, maps, scrapbooks, selected 18th, 19th and early 20th century journals, and realia which support the curriculum and special programs of the College.
The Siena College Library Special Collections seeks to develop collections in several specific subject areas. These areas have been chosen in consultation with faculty members and in response to various opportunities. Others are related to traditional subject strengths at Siena. In developing collections the following considerations are made: scholarly research value of the material, an item’s exhibit potential, and its outreach potential. Materials are also added to the Special Collection via transfer from the Library’s main collections. The qualities considered in these instances include the materials fragility, age, value as an artifact, association value and market value. These materials may be outside the targeted subject areas of collecting emphasis.
Subject Areas Collected
Collecting areas for the Special Collections are reviewed periodically . As circumstances change and opportunities arise, collecting areas may be reevaluated and modified.
Acquisitions Methods for the Special Collection
The primary means for the development of the Special Collections is through non- monetary gifts to the Library. The Siena College Library Gifts Policy is applicable to all donations designated for the Special Collections. Acquisitions which are made through purchase invariably entail a monetary gift to the Library. In these cases items are selected and purchased from dealer catalogs or other dealer offers.
The Special Collections Center places no overall geographical, linguistic, or chronological limitations on the scope of materials to be collected. No particular formats are excluded. The library does not seek to acquire objects better suited for museum collections. Such memorabilia may, however, be accepted as part of larger collections, if useful for exhibit or instructional purposes.
Clientele Served by the Special Collections Center
The policy of the Special Collections Center is to make materials available to researchers on equal terms, subject to appropriate care and handling by the researcher.