The Challenge: RLUK member libraries hold some of the world’s richest and most comprehensive research resources. But there still remain many barriers that hinder researchers and students from making the maximum use of those collections.  Not all items we hold are discoverable. Users need to be certain that they can find every item that might be of interest to them or which may trigger new insights and discoveries. As user behaviours and expectations are changing, so too are mechanisms by which we expose our collections to maximise their impact.


Uncover hidden collections

  • Drive the development of tools to accelerate cataloguing for collections with little or no metadata and encourage the use of those tools
  • Promote the benefits of standardised metadata for all formats to enhance discoverability and achieve efficiencies
  • Encourage the use of collection-level descriptions for rapid description of unrecorded collections


Develop and support services to facilitate seamless and frictionless resource discovery

  • Release the RLUK database records as linked open data and promote the use of linked data and other open metadata to enhance discoverability and use of materials
  • Encourage the incorporation of rights data in bibliographic records and digital content to provide greater clarity regarding use and reuse
  • Promote a discovery infrastructure that incorporates HE, Public, National and independent libraries


Encourage greater engagement of RLUK libraries in the wider cultural landscape

  • Work with partner organisations to highlight innovative community engagement
  • Develop the Unique and Distinctive Collections Hub into a web-based information exchange
  • Articulate the economic and cultural impact of the archives, manuscripts and rare books held in RLUK libraries


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Top image courtesy of the University of Manchester Library