At the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting, the Center for Research Libraries presented a proposal for cooperation among the existing regional and domain-based print archiving initiatives. CRL's goal is to foster long-term preservation and accessibility of research materials important to the scholarly community, while significantly reducing the costs of legacy print collections. Attendees at the meeting expressed strong support for the CRL proposal and agreed to work together over the next several months to develop more detailed plans for implementation.
A number of major consortia are already developing shared print serial projects. By working together these organizations might be able to achieve synergies among the multiple regional initiatives. CRL proposed a 9-month planning process including the following activities:
- Convene representatives of consortia, libraries and other apppropriate organizations to explore prospects for a formal, multi-regional cooperative print archiving effort beginning in fall 2010
- Create mechanisms for making key program decisions and implement technologies for sharing practices, analytical and anecdotal information about costs, collections, and services
- Aggregate information about print archiving projects. CRL is developing a project registry on its Web site, which currently includes a narrative description of known print archive projects (http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/print-archives/)
- Specify service agreements and commitments (selection criteria, archival conditions, promised retention period, access and delivery services, financial support)
- Specify common requirements for systems and tools needed to support holdings disclosure and decision support, and encourage coordination of data definition.
This planning process will identify specific measures that U.S. and Canadian consortia might take in the next few years to align the various local and regional cooperative print collection management efforts.