Document Type


Publication details

Burn, KL 2007, 'The Australian Baptist Heritage Collection: management of a geographically distributed special collection', MA thesis, Melbourne College of Divinity.


This project examined the history, development and current state of Australian Baptist Heritage collections by exploring the contributions of, and relationships between, theological colleges and their libraries, Australian Baptist Historical Societies and Baptist Union Archive collections. An outcome of the project was the compilation of a bibliography of Australian Baptist publications as well as several other valuable resources for collection managers, researchers and historians. A survey was administered to gauge the interest of key individuals and/or institutions in participating in co-operative collection development projects that could advance the purposes of Australian Baptist institutions as a whole. The responses by librarians and archivists responsible for Australian Baptist collections were analysed and possibilities for collaborative collection management of Australian Baptist resources explored. These possibilities include shared collection development policies and preservation strategies, formal sharing of duplicate resources and information about collections, and potentially using digital technology to improve access to collections and to ensure the preservation of nationally significant, and rarely held materials. Australian Baptist library and archive collections are used as a case study with a view to reaching conclusions with implications for the management of similar collections (i.e. geographically distributed special collections). The wider Australian theological community, which includes many other denominational and religious collections, may also be able to participate in some of the proposed co-operative ventures. This research project thereby provides a model for possible emulation by other collections as well as making a contribution to collection management theory and practice.