For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections
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‘For the benefit of posterity’: Fundraising for Special Collections. Richard Ovenden Keeper of Special Collections & Western Manuscripts Bodleian Library University of Oxford. OR. The Search for Sustainability. Summary. Context: The rising costs of cultural heritage

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‘For the benefit of posterity’: Fundraising for Special Collections

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For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

‘For the benefit of posterity’:Fundraising for Special Collections

Richard Ovenden

Keeper of Special Collections & Western Manuscripts

Bodleian Library

University of Oxford

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

OR

The Search for Sustainability

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Summary

Summary

  • Context: The rising costs of cultural heritage

  • Context: Competing for revenues

  • Context: Historical background

  • Fundraising for Special Collections: projects

  • Fundraising for Special Collections: acquisitions

  • Fundraising for Special Collections: buildings

  • Friendraising

  • Conclusion: Balances & Trust

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Context historical background

Context: Historical Background

  • The Life of Sir Thomas Bodley, Written by himself AD 1609:

    • ‘Some kind of Knowledge, as well in the learned and modern tongues, as in sundry sorts of scholastical literature’

    • ‘Some Purse ability to go through with the charge’

    • ‘Very great store of Honourable friends’

    • ‘Special good leisure’

  • 1602 Bodleian Library opened

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Context historical background1

Context: Historical Background

  • Benefactor’s Panel identifies the history of fundraising since 1440s

  • Heavy emphasis on acquisitions

  • From 1930s onwards funding for buildings

  • Since 1960s funding increasingly for buildings conservation

  • Same number of entries from 1990-2002 than from 1960-1989.

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Context the rising costs of cultural heritage

Context: The rising costs of cultural heritage

  • General: the rising costs of living in the west, cost of compliance

    • Staff costs, pensions, Health & Safety legislation

  • Specific: values of cultural heritage materials

    • Values of books and manuscripts continue to rise, as supply decreases

  • Specific: costs of maintaining historic buildings

    • Those libraries burdened with old estate face increasing costs to upgrade them

    • Eg Bodleian needs overhaul of storage facilities and installation of fire-suppression capabilities

  • Specific: the rising costs of conservation

    • Our understanding of the possibilities of conservation are growing, as are costs

  • Specific: the costs of curatorial care

    • As collections increase, expectations of users also increase, requiring ‘rigorous intellectual approach to custodial and curatorial care’ (Browar and Streit)

  • Specific: digital libraries – additional not replacement cost

    • Digitization and digital libraries generally accepted as essential part of Special Collections activity

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Context competing for revenue

Context: Competing for revenue

  • Stretched public finances (eg pensions)

  • Growth of ‘heritage sector’

    • Greater awareness of heritage

    • Greater competition within the heritage sector

    • Heritage Lottery Fund: 11% to libraries and archives in 2003-4

  • Research funding within Higher Education

    • Pressure on arts and humanities from science and medicine

  • Professionalisation of fundraising: ‘Good causes’

    • Rising awareness of power of philanthropy to assist Developing world

    • Gates Foundation funding for tackling World Health

    • Atlantic Philanthropies 2002 abandons Higher Education

    • Pierre and Pam Omidyar gift of $100m Endowment to Tufts University to be invested ‘ethically’

  • When economy slows the amount of funds available to governments, foundations and individuals gets smaller.

    • Dot com bubble

    • September 11

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Q are heritage issues able to compete with issues such as global poverty aids world health

Q: Are heritage issues able to compete with issues such as Global Poverty, AIDS, World Health?

Rise of Social Entrepreneurship: Google.org

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections

Fundraising for Special Collections

  • Libraries increasingly focussed on fundraising. Full-time posts now at Oxford, Manchester, Edinburgh.

  • Main areas for library fundraising: Projects, Acquisitions, Buildings

  • Special Collections united by ‘legacy issues’

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections projects 1

Fundraising for Special Collections: Projects (1)

  • Decline in ‘core’ funding has lead to an increased focus on short-term funding

  • Project-focus has matched rise of funding sources

  • Techniques of project management helpful in ensuring tasks can be completed:

    • value for money

    • monitoring

    • transparency

  • Ability to bring new staff, new skills, new attitudes and approaches into an institution

  • Collaborative nature of many projects encourages development

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections projects 2

Fundraising for Special Collections: Projects (2)

  • Bodleian Library Special Collections

    • 35% of staffing funded through projects

    • Since 2003 ‘public’ sources of project funding:

    • Andrew W Mellon Foundation (US)

    • Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art (UK)

    • Getty Grant Program (US)

    • Heritage Lottery Fund (UK)

    • JISC (UK)

    • Samuel H Kress Foundation (US)

    • Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)

    • Fritz Thyssen Stiftung (Germany)

    • National Science Foundation (US)

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections projects 3

Fundraising for Special Collections: Projects (3)

  • Bodleian Library

    • Private sources of funding now interested in project approach:

    • Cataloguing of Marconi Archives

    • Cataloguing of Tolkien Archives

    • Cataloguing of Sherfield Family papers

    • Oral History project for Conservative Party

    • Digitisation of Greek Manuscripts

    • Preservation of Rawlinson Manuscripts

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections projects 4

Fundraising for Special Collections: Projects (4)

  • Problems:

    • Managerial burdens of applying for funding, monitoring progress, and reporting (beaurocracy)

    • Bid-writing requires particular skills

    • Short-term nature of projects creates turnover in staffing: loss of skills, experience, expertise

    • Lack of continuity if funding breaks

    • Funding opportunities do not always match institutional need

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections acquisitions 1

Fundraising for Special Collections: Acquisitions (1)

  • Traditional nature of acquisitions funding:

  • Pinelli Sale (London) and Crevenna Sale (Amsterdam) 1789-90

  • Bodleian appealed to the Colleges and individuals of the university for funds as gifts or loans to enable the Library to take advantage of the ‘uncommon opportunities of purchasing books and of making up the deficiencies of the Library’

  • Bodleian went heavily into debt in order to secure purchases

  • 1799 one-fifth of annual budget spent on Gutenberg Bible

  • ‘What a warfare we have had ...’

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections acquisitions 2

Fundraising for Special Collections: Acquisitions (2)

  • Shakespeare First Folio 1906

  • Abinger Papers 2003-5

    • Shelley family archives £5.5m

    • Capital taxes ‘Douceur’ £1.65m

    • Heritage funding, £3m

    • Matching funding, £850k

  • Sources of funds for acquisitions 2004-5

    • 70% public funding

    • 28% private funding (including endowments)

    • 2% University

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections buildings 1

Fundraising for Special Collections: Buildings(1)

  • Most established area for fundraising in Oxford:

    • Divinity School and Library c.1420-1480

    • Radcliffe Camera, 1742

    • Nissan Institute & Library, 1994

    • Vere Harmsworth Library 2001

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections buildings 2

Fundraising for Special Collections: Buildings (2)

  • Size of capital projects now very large

  • Difficulty of finding major donors in a competitive ‘market’

  • In UK some proportion of public funding essential for major projects

    • Public perceptions coloured by expensive capital projects: British Library, Royal Opera House, Scottish Parliament

  • Refurbishment projects often even more expensive than new buildings because of

    • Legislative compliance

    • Heritage issues

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections buildings 3

Fundraising for Special Collections: Buildings (3)

  • Bodleian Library plans a major new Special Collections facility

    • Refurbishment of 1930s building

    • Legislative compliance

    • ‘Standards’ aware

    • ‘Heritage’ problems

  • Integration of dispersed special collections

  • Creation of Research Centre attached to Library

    • Visiting Scholars Programme

    • Seminar and lecture suite

    • Exhibition facility

    • Conservation and curatorial centre

    • Nested research projects (Dictionary of Medieval Latin)

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Fundraising for special collections buildings 4

Fundraising for Special Collections: Buildings (4)

  • Funding sources:

    • Higher education funding

    • Public funding

    • ‘Heritage funding’

    • ‘Private sources’: Foundations and individuals

    • Perception that infrastructure should be funded by the institution

    • Superstructure: access, culture more appealing to both ‘Heritage’ and ‘Private’ sources

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Friendraising 1

Friendraising (1)

  • Many libraries have Friends organisations

    • Friends of the Bodleian founded 1925

  • ‘Everyone is a graduate of the Library’

  • Importance of public role of libraries – cultural repositories

  • Creating a wide support base

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Friendraising 2

Friendraising (2)

  • Fundraising a long-term issue

    • Legacies and bequests

    • Planned giving

  • Importance of Special Collections librarian at centre of wide network of supporters

    • Cultural and political influence

    • Academic integrity

    • Financial power

  • People give money to people!

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Conclusions balances

Conclusions: Balances

  • Need to understand future balance of funding from different sources

  • Agree the relative proportions of funding for different activities within the organisation

  • Balance the organisation in order to:

    • Assign staff roles appropriately

    • Allocate management time accordingly

    • Distribute staff and activity efficiently

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Conclusions balances1

Conclusions: Balances

  • Need to shift the balance in the source of funding

    • Dependence on short-term funding

    • Annual allocation / short-term project funding / one-off acquisitions

  • Importance of endowments ?

    • US model

    • Issue of sustainable funding not a new thing

    • Identified in Oxford at the end of the 16th century …

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Sir thomas bodley 1598

‘And where before … because it never had any lasting allowance, for augmentation of the number, or supply of books decayed: whereby it came to pass, that when those that were in being, were either wasted or embezzled, the whole foundation came to ruin: To meet with that inconvenience, I will so provide hereafter … as you shall be still assured of a standing annual rent, to be disbursed every year in buying booke, in officers stipends, and other pertinent occasions …

Sir Thomas Bodley, 1598

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Conclusions balances2

Conclusions: Balances

  • Level of endowments in British Universities much lower than US counterparts

    • Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Edinburgh

    • Still very low compared to heavily-endowed Special Collections institutions such as Beinecke at Yale and the Houghton at Harvard.

  • Endowments still dependent on performance of the stock market

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Q do endowments promise a sustainable future for special collections

Q: Do endowments promise a sustainable future for Special Collections?

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Conclusions trust

Conclusions: TRUST

  • The issues of funding special collections are increasingly focussed on TRUST

    • Acquisitions: allocation of trust for an institution to be a custodian of culturally important objects

    • Notion of ‘enduring institutions’

    • Projects: Trust that funding will be spent appropriately by the institution

      • Does your project enhance profile of funders?

      • Darwin Exhibition at AMNH

    • Buildings: Trust that the institution - and its mission - will endure.

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


Conclusions trust1

Conclusions: TRUST

  • Are we able to provide our funders with a sense of trust in libraries in general and special collections in particular?

    • High-profile de-accessioning weakens our position on acquisitions

      • Manchester ‘Duplicate Incunables’1988

      • Edinburgh UL Audubon 1991

      • NYPL American Paintings 2005

    • Project failures weaken trust in curators as good managers (NOF)

    • Failure to articulate the long-term mission of libraries and special collections will fail to attract sustainable funding required to ensure Special Collections can be ‘enduring institutions’

      • Importance of Friendraising

      • Address the concerns of the ‘Social Entrepreneurs’

Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


For the benefit of posterity fundraising for special collections

FIN

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Special Collections in the 21st Century, Weimar


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