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Abstract

With the economic downturn forcing archival repositories and special collections departments to pare down budgets and staff, institutions sometimes view outreach, publicity, and marketing as luxuries. At the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) of George Washington University's Gelman Library, we consider these activities part of our core tasks. Our mission statement declares we will "collect, preserve, and make accessible primary resources and rare or unique materials." Fulfilling this third objective requires more than just processing collections and opening the reading room, however. In our view, it requires a sustained and vigorous program of outreach through the Web, events, exhibits, and instruction, all of which help our target audiences get to know our collections, our institution, and the myriad ways in which we can enrich their research and their lives.

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