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Illustration of Camomilla Cammillen

UCL Library Services currently leads a number of externally-funded projects, representing initiatives in a wide range of education support services, and is a partner in many such projects based at universities nation-wide. This is a growing trend as libraries across all sectors are encouraged to collaborate to enhance their services, and the access to them.

The Mapping Access to Special Collections in the London Region project (MASC25) is one such UCL-led project. The project aims to create a unified online resource guide to printed special collections held in Higher Education and Public Libraries in the M25 area.

Illustration of Camomilla Camillen taken from Herbarius Latinus by Johann Petri, published in 1485. A work held in UCL's Incunabula collection; one of the special collections in the M25 area.

MASC25 has recently completed a feasibility study, funded by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme. This feasibility study has created a detailed vision of the direction that future work on the project will take.

The London region is particularly rich in collections of a unique, rare or special significance and it is envisioned that the online guide will be an indispensable tool for researchers hoping to identify collections relevant to their work.

The project will develop with close links to the related venture AIM25 (Archives in London and the M25 area), which is currently surveying archival and manuscript material held by libraries in the region.

A project survey has revealed a wealth of special collections in the M25 Consortium libraries. Descriptions of these collections will be added to the data that already exists for the libraries of the University of London and public libraries, to form a comprehensive electronic resource. Standards to be used for collection description, subject access, and the web delivery of data to users have been identified to ensure consistency in content, accuracy in indexing, and a high quality format for ease of use in the final product.

Content by Anna Grundy
Further information from Janet Percival

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