Certification and Assessment
In 2009 the Center for Research Libraries initiated in-depth assessments of two repositories of interest to the CRL community: Portico and HathiTrust. The purpose of these assessments was to promote understanding of and, where justified, confidence in, digital repositories. In today’s economic climate libraries must realize the greatest possible return on their investment in electronic scholarly resources and digital preservation services, and need to move aggressively to reduce the costs of redundant print holdings.
Portico agreed to cooperate with the CRL audit, with the goal of certification as a trustworthy digital repository. HathiTrust asked CRL to assess its digital repository, which includes not only Google Books digitization content but a considerable amount of non-Google content as well. Both repositories currently hold a status of certified and will be reassessed periodically, to ensure that they continue to comply with the TRAC criteria.
Concurrently CRL is working with a number of other major repositories of interest to the CRL community, to assess their capabilities for archiving and maintaining digitized primary source materials and related metadata.
Certification Advisory Panel
The set of metrics used in CRL repository assessments are included in the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification checklist (TRAC). To further inform and guide the assessment process CRL formed a panel of advisors representing the various sectors of its membership. The CRL Certification Advisory Panel ensures that the certification process addresses the interests of the entire CRL community, and includes leaders in collection development, preservation, and library information technology.
Certification and Print
Certification augments CRL’s strategic archiving of print and supports the responsible transition by CRL libraries to electronic-only formats where appropriate. The economic downturn has forced many library directors to confront the formidable and growing costs of managing physical collections. Most libraries face difficult decisions about acquiring and maintaining physical collections. Preserving and maintaining shared physical collections at CRL will continue to benefit libraries, as it has for more than sixty years. Through certification of digital archives and print archiving CRL supports our community's efforts to shift to electronic-only resources in a strategic and deliberative manner.