Special Collections Lending: A Reader’s View



Although the editorial project of which I am a part has used rare books on interlibrary loan, and hopes to do so again, I want here not to engage in mere special pleading.1 Rather I wish to look at some of the wider ramifications, for scholars and librarians alike, of lending rare books—a process which for simplicity’s sake I shall refer to as special lending.

What has repeatedly struck me as I have discussed special lending with librarians is that the primary barrier is a distrust of the librarian on the other end. On this crucial part of the . . .

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