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CRL Programs and Services - Member Driven Acquisitions and Cooperative Collection Development Programs (New Policies Effective July 1, 2002)



Every year a portion of CRL’s acquisitions budget is used to augment the purchasing power of member institution libraries. This is accomplished through CRL’s Demand Purchase and Purchase Proposal programs, the scope and terms of which are outlined below. As announced at this year’s annual meeting, the Center has expanded its Demand Purchase programs for archives and newspapers. The following terms reflect those revisions.

Demand Purchase Programs

To meet scholars’ individual research needs the Center purchases materials in certain categories on demand, to the extent that funds permit. Requests to the Center for demand purchases are initiated by member ILL offices. The three categories of materials acquired under this program are:

  • Foreign Dissertations: The Center will endeavor to acquire any doctoral dissertation written at an institution outside of the U.S. and Canada.
  • Archival Material: The Center will purchase archival material that records the activities of national governments, semi-governmental agencies, and other institutions and organizations. Recent acquisitions under this program include The Visitation Returns from the Dioceses of Canterbury & London (17th-19th Centuries) and The Royal Maternity Charity Minutes, (1761-1949).
  • Newspapers: The Center will acquire retrospective files of any newspaper for which CRL already has partial holdings.

As funds permit, requests for demand purchases are honored on a first-come, first-served basis with a maximum expenditure of $2,000 per patron per year. Materials are purchased in microform when available. Please note that CRL may decline to purchase materials when the requested material is readily available from one or more member libraries. Occasionally the Center may be unable to purchase an item because of circumstances beyond its control. In some instances, for example, materials are available only at unreasonably high prices set by publishers or vendors. Certain dissertations, moreover, are not available for circulation because of restrictions imposed by an author or a university.

Purchase Proposal Program

Many major microform or reprint sets or collections are too costly for individual institutions to acquire. Such sets, moreover, tend not to be readily available through interlibrary loan. Under the CRL Purchase Proposal program, any member library may nominate for CRL purchase major microfilm sets and reprint collections that meet the following criteria:

  • (a) Cost $1,000 or more;
  • Form a coherent unit; or, consist of separate works that are all listed in an existing standard bibliography or fall within an easily definable class; or, is a reproduction of a single known collection;
  • Are not readily available for loan from five or more CRL members.

Not eligible for purchase under the program are:

  1. Reference works, unless they relate to a collection held by or being purchased by CRL;
  2. Selections from a large body of material, unless they meet the criteria set forth in "(b)" above;
  3. Sets that assemble in one place material that is already easily available from a variety of sources;
  4. Original archival materials;
  5. Rare books.

Once the nominations are made full members of CRL vote their preferences for purchase among the sets nominated. Materials acquired are cataloged and are reported above in this newsletter. More information is available about the Center’s cooperative purchase programs on our Web site or by contacting Acquisitions Department.