Guide to Security Considerations and Practices for Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collection Libraries—print/PDF e-book Bundle

This specially priced bundle includes a print copy for desk reference along with the e-book version. The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account Profile; the print copy will be shipped to you. For more information about ALA eEditions file types and how to view them on eReaders, desktop computers, and other devices, see this page.

ALA Member
Item Number

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both members and non-members.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

The Guide to Security Considerations and Practices for Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collection Libraries is the first such book intended specifically to address security in special collection libraries. Containing nineteen chapters, the book covers such topics as background checks, reading room and general building design, technical processing, characteristics and methods of thieves, materials recovery after a theft, and security systems. While other topics are touched upon, the key focus of this volume is on the prevention of theft of rare materials. The work is supplemented by several appendices, one of which gives brief biographies of recent thieves and another of which publishes Allen’s important Blumberg Survey, which she undertook after that thief’s conviction. The text is supported by illustrations, a detailed index, and an extensive bibliography.

The work, compiled and edited by Everett C. Wilkie, Jr., contains contributions from Anne Marie Lane, Jeffrey Marshall, Alvan Bregman, Margaret Tenney, Elaine Shiner, Richard W. Oram, Ann Hartley, Susan M. Allen, and Daniel J. Slive, all members of the ACRL Rare Books & Manuscripts Section (RBMS) and experts in rare materials and the security of these materials within special collections.

This work is essential reading for all those concerned with special collection security, from general library administrators to rare book librarians.

Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

Anne Marie Lane

Why Security?
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH1: General Considerations
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH2: Background Checks
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr. (with Margaret Tufts Tenney)

CH3: General Building Considerations
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH4: Reading Room Design for Security
Jeffrey D. Marshall

CH5: Access Control Systems
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH6: Burglar Alarm Systems
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH7: Closed Circuit Television Systems
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH8: Special Circumstances
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH9: Security Guards
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH10: Special Collections Reading Rooms
Alvan Bregman and Margaret Tufts Tenney

CH11: Audit Trails
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH12: Security and Technical Processing
Elaine Shiner

CH13: Marking Rare Book and Manuscript Materials
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH14: Weighing Materials in Rare Book and Manuscript Libraries to Prevent Theft
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH15: Thieves: Who and Why
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH16: Legerdemain: How Did They Do That?
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH17: Dealing with a Theft: Before and During
Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

CH18: Bringing It All Back Home: Recovery of Stolen Special Collections Materials
Richard W. Oram and Ann Hartley

Appendix I–Blumberg Survey
Susan M. Allen, Nicole Davis, Kelly Jensen, and Laurel Rozema

Appendix II–Who's Who
Daniel J. Slive

Appendix III–Guidelines
ACRL Guidelines Regarding Security and Theft in Special Collections
ACRL Guidelines on the Selection and Transfer of Materials from General Collections to Special Collections (Third edition)
MAGERT Map Collection Security Guidelines


Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.

Everett C. Wilkie, Jr. is a former Chair of the ACRL Rare Books & Manuscripts Section (RBMS) Security Committee and an independent scholar. He received his PhD and ML from the University of South Carolina. He is the co-author of The French Image of America: A Chronological and Subject Bibliography of French Books Printed before 1816 Relating to the British North American Colonies and the United States, among other volumes, and has published numerous articles and other writings in the field of Americana bibliography and history and special collections.