Recent Submissions

  • Identification and Comparison of Gray Literature in Two Polar Libraries: Australian Antarctic Division and Scott Polar Research Institute

    Carle, Daria O. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-09-15)
    Gray literature collections were investigated and compared at the libraries of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) and the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in order to improve accessibility. These collections are important to Arctic and Antarctic researchers, but are problematic because they are not well documented, often have limited access, and are arranged by subject using a classification system specific to polar libraries. Tangible results of the project include estimates of the number of gray literature items in the polar subject categories for the two libraries, along with a template of a user’s finding aid to these collections. In addition, 172 sources from four Antarctic expeditions in the early part of the 20th century were selected as a representative sample; 64 from AAD and 108 from SPRI. While small, the sample was a focused topic with enough variety of materials to provide good examples for accessibility issues. Inquiries are continually received at AAD and SPRI for information related to these four expeditions, so improved access will be beneficial for both researchers and the two institutions. Making the material more available is also very timely, anticipating renewed interest from the public with the approaching centennial celebrations of two of the expeditions coming up in 2010 and 2011. Despite the similar subject nature of the collections, only ten items were duplicated in the two libraries. Solutions for improving access, such as linking the gray literature collections to broader initiatives are addressed in more detail in the final report. Providing the references in a metadata format to include in an online catalog or linked to a website will increase visibility and use of the materials. Suggestions for improving the arrangement of the materials and reducing duplication within the collections are also discussed in the final report available on my blog.