Scant research has been conducted examining special collections from the perspective of library staff.
This dissertation seeks to fill this gap in knowledge by examining levels of awareness and perceptions
of special collections from the perspective of library staff in Ireland. The dissertation also examined
the extent to which these perceptions aligned with how special collections staff perceive themselves
and the extent of collaboration occurring between special collections staff and other library staff.
Primary data in this dissertation was gathered through a self-completed web questionnaire, which
was distributed to library staff from seven university libraries in Ireland. Out of the population of 457,
a total of 98 responses was obtained.
Results from the questionnaires suggest high levels of awareness and the existence of positive
perceptions in library staff. A high level of alignment in perceptions was found between special
collections staff and other library staff. In addition, collaborative efforts between special collections
staff and other library staff span a range of departments and appear to be occurring on a regular basis.
Finally, results suggest a possible association is present between high levels of awareness and
The dissertation contributed to better understandings of how visible special collections are to library
staff and how special collections are perceived by library staff. Results suggest there exists integration
of special collections to the larger academic library environment in Ireland. Author keywords: