Special collections are gaining importance in their services to research and scholarship. This paper attempts to provide a practical model to building an individual article collection at ATMA (Institute of the Malay World and Civilization) UKM as one of the effective ways to demonstrate the value of a special collection in the manner that addresses the strategic concern of the research institute. Over the years, new types of paper-based publications have developed and new media and formats, from microforms to audio-visuals to digital publications, have come into regular use. The shift to digital information in 1990s has affected collection development. With the availability of full-text data bases, come a number of different perspectives on how a research collection should be developed, managed documented, retrieved and preserved. In this light, the traditional special collection development need to be changed to respond to the emerging paradigm of individual article service. In this paper, we will not only look at the physical characteristics of Malay studies resources, but also review past practices in the collection development, and examine advances in documentation and preservation technologies that are being applied today in relation to the individual article collection being initiated at ATMA (Institut Alam & Tamadun Melayu). We intend to touch on issues related to its collection development, access, technological requirements and preservation. We want a system that can help researchers gain rapid access to the documents they require. As they need to have access to specific articles, the general collection in a special collection such as PATMA (the library of ATMA) cannot meet their needs. Thus a special collection offering a new kind of access should be considered, developed, upgraded and even digitzed for the electronic future.