While there is no standard definition, scholars postulate that a research collection is a complex and diverse compilation of materials used to inform and sustain research about a particular subject. A research collection is created with a specific academic field or scholarly audience in mind, which subsequently determines the kinds of materials within a collection. For instance, the research materials in a collection for a geneticist look very different from that of an art historian. Simply speaking, the materials that comprise a research collection are dependent on the research the collection is intended to support. Within the humanities and social sciences, research collections primarily comprise print materials, such as academic journals, monographs, and historical documents. This entry offers an overview of two entities ...
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