Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Finding our way : opinions of New Zealand library staff regarding the exhibiting of their special collections

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posted on 2021-11-13, 19:46 authored by Jones, Sarah Kirsten

The aim of the present study was to address the void in the LIS literature regarding principles and practices of exhibiting Special Collections in New Zealand libraries by exploring the opinions of library staff using an ethnographic research design. The study explored four main areas: the extent to which Special Collections were believed to contribute to the cultural heritage of New Zealand; the purpose of exhibiting in New Zealand libraries; whether or not guidelines were considered to be important when exhibiting Special Collections; and the extent to which web technology was utilised to identify, publish or publicise Special Collection in New Zealand libraries. Three methods of data collection were employed: an online questionnaire, focus groups and Web site evaluations. The study found that library staff strongly agreed that material held in Special Collections contributes to cultural heritage. Exhibiting was found to provide many benefits to libraries, their staff, the community and the nation through access to collections, education, collection development, and research. Although the study did not uncover much evidence of guidelines in New Zealand libraries, the results of the study indicate that these are desirable and library staff would be more inclined to exhibit if they existed. Web technology was not highly utilised by libraries, however the potential was widely recognised and many participants in the study indicated they saw potential to take advantage of Web technologies to promote and provide access to materials in Special Collections in the future.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Library and Information Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Masters Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Shep, Sydney; Traue, Jim