The UC University Librarians have spoken: “Provide a record for all hidden collections by the end of 2012”. This has recently been made a high priority for all UC libraries to accomplish.
“What is a hidden collection?” you may ask. They are anything the library has, but no one knows we have. They are not housed in a public area and there are no catalog records or finding aids.
All Special Collections and Archives departments have these “hidden collections”, some have more than others. They are often archival collections of papers, digital files or other things that the library has acquired, but has not had time to “process” (organize and list) or to describe and provide access to (via finding aid and catalog records). Some of these “hidden collections” within the UC’s libraries have been in storage for years or decades.
UC Irvine has just over 230 unprocessed “hidden collections”. We are “exposing” them by providing brief finding aids online in the Online Archive of California and brief catalog records in our Antpac catalog.
For example, we have now “exposed” our collection called: University of California, Irvine, New University newspaper photographs, 1977 – 1983 (AS.107). This collection comprises black and white photographic negatives and proofs taken by the New University newspaper staff at the University of California, Irvine between 1977 and 1983. Interested? Now you know we have it.
You may request to use the unprocessed materials, but give us a few days notice so we may review them first and make sure they can be used without any risks.