Pedagogical Strategies for Special Collections


  • Edward J. Valauskas


Rare books are powerful and important objects. They stimulate their users to investigate their significance, placing these works in a larger historical context. Too often, these books, because of their value and scarcity, are isolated, restricted in access to those with verifiable qualifications and status. For the public at large, rare books remain caged, stored in unique environments, put on view only in guarded and secure exhibits, tended by trained guardians.

Author Biography

Edward J. Valauskas

Edward J. Valauskas is the Founder and Chief Editor of First Monday (, one of the first openly accessible, peer–reviewed journals on the Internet, solely devoted to research about the Internet, published since 1996. He retired in 2015 as Curator of Rare Books at the Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he wrote a monthly column about rare books in the Garden Library’s collection, entitled “Stories from the Rare Book Collection” (http:// Edward was the Follett Chair in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University (River Forest, Ill.) between 2004 and 2007 and has taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Emporia State University, International Centre for Information Management Systems and Services (Nicolaus Copernicus University), and elsewhere. He has written and edited several books about the Internet and computing and is the author of a large number of papers and articles for various journals and magazines.




How to Cite

Valauskas, E. J. (2018). Pedagogical Strategies for Special Collections. Uncommon Culture, 7(1/2), 45–55. Retrieved from