Collaboration and Connections: Postprints of the AICCM Paper, Books and Photographic Materials Special Interest Group Symposium, Sydney 1-3 April 2004, pp. 51-56


On his death in July 1907, David Scott Mitchell left to the people of New South W ales his extraordinary collections of books, documents, maps and pictorial works. The year 2007 marks the centenary of this bequest. To honour David Scott Mitchell’s great gift, the State Library has commenced the Mitchell Bequest Project. The aims of the project are to identify and improve access by creating electronic records and providing preservation treatments for all material acquired through the original Bequest.

A four-month Pilot Project began in November 2002 to establish workable procedures and protocols within and between branches and divisions of the Library. The Pilot provided a statistical basis for estimating turnaround times and aided in streamlining the workflow. The Mitchell Bequest Project began in earnest in March 2003, and systems and work areas continue to be developed and refined as the project proceeds. A team of Library Volunteers identify and retrieve the books with the telltale signature and/or bookplate. Collection Services create an electronic catalogue entry for each volume. The books then travel to Preservation for conservation treatment as appropriate and are each fitted with a protective polyester dust jacket. Reader Services advise on priorities and significance, and re-shelve the books.

Under the guidance of a Steering Committee with representatives from across the Library, the Mitchell Bequest Project continues to establish new and reinvigorate existing connections between the differing sectors of the Library. This successful collaboration is anticipated to act as a template for future Library-wide endeavours.

3rd Book, Paper and Photographs Symposium, 2004
Paper author:
Rostek-Robak, Agata; Thomson, Catherine