"May you live in interesting times." Or so goes the supposed Chinese curse.
These are interesting times indeed for the library profession. The changes thrust upon libraries and librarianship in the past handful of years are by now well-documented and have forced us all to think hard about what it means to be an information professional in an age where one-click technology seems to rule all.
While I don't pretend to have many answers to the pressing questions confronting the profession, I do firmly believe that the importance of Archives and Special Collections will become ever-more pronounced as the twenty-first century continues its advance. The ability of archivists to collect, describe and provide access to personal papers, organizational records and sundry bits of grey literature seems to me a key competitive advantage for academic institutions striving to remain essential participants in an information ecosystem so increasingly defined by the Googles of the world.
For over a decade I have had the good fortune to explore the challenges of twenty-first century librarianship from my position as Faculty Research Assistant at the Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections, home of the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. Primarily through our work with the Pauling archive, the OSU Special Collections has contributed significantly to the development of methods by which paper artifacts might be repurposed into high-quality, user-friendly digital resources. This webpage is meant to describe my small role in assisting such a massive and ever-evolving process.