Frequently Asked Questions
TRAIL began as a Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) project with the Center for Research Libraries to increase access to and preserve government technical reports. TRAIL is now a CRL Global Resources Network Initiative which provides unrestricted access to this unique body of literature via the TRAIL Search Interface.
- communicates research in technology and science (prior art)
- contributes to the continued growth of research at institutions and in industry
- serves specialized audiences of researchers (e.g. aerospace, mining, energy, etc.)
Government documents that have not been digitized or that are not born-digital are vulnerable for a number of reasons:
- libraries are downsizing print government documents collections due to space issues
- many government documents are deteriorating or are being moved to remote storage
- for many of these documents, access exists only through series records in library catalogs, if at all, while TRAIL individually catalogs each document.
- acquiring content from donor libraries
- arranging for digitization of the materials, including large fold-outs and other special-handling materials
- cataloging/creating metadata for each report
- arranging for storage/preservation of digital files
- creating and maintaining the user interface that provides access to TRAIL digitized content