CRL’s longstanding commitment to building and preserving newspaper collections continues. In the last five years alone, CRL and the Area Materials Projects working under the CRL umbrella collected, digitized, and microfilmed newspapers from over 30 countries.
To multiply the impact of these efforts, however, CRL has now begun to gather and provide to libraries information to support local decision-making on investment in developing and maintaining library newspaper holdings and in the purchase of commercially available news databases. CRL’s ICON database (page 2) is now the largest source of information on print and microform holdings at major newspaper repositories, and on the scope and completeness of content in “trusted” digital databases like CRL’s World Newspaper Archive and the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America.
In “Toward Greater Transparency in News Databases” (page 6), Maria Smith outlines how CRL will assess the sustainability and integrity of major newspaper databases and digital libraries. This assessment will enable libraries to make more informed decisions about print holdings, and invest with greater confidence in news databases. James Simon and Diane Ryan’s analysis of academic news databases (page 9) illuminates the extent to which news broadcast transcripts are covered in major databases like Factiva and LexisNexis Academic.
Together these efforts are designed to provide libraries actionable information about the infrastructure and organizations we rely upon to ensure our researchers long-term access to important news content. This will be essential in a time when library control of news content is becoming more critical than its custody.