As libraries celebrate International Open Access Week October 21-27 (#OAweek), CRL takes stock of its significant ongoing commitment to promoting openness in collections. Over 65% of the primary source collections currently hosted by CRL are openly accessible worldwide, and plans with partner institutions call for expanding this.
In 2016, responding to a strong endorsement from the community, CRL announced a policy “pivoting” to supporting open access models for sharing its digital collections. A number of initiatives supporting openess fostered by CRL were already underway, including:
- Project Ceres, funding preservation and access to important source materials on the history of the U.S. agricultural economy
- TRAIL, a collaborative effort to catalog and provide unrestricted access to digitized U.S. government agency technical reports (generating over 500,000 new pages of content annually)
- Official Gazettes and Civil Society documentation from countries where the integrity of the public record is at risk
More recently CRL has leveraged community interest in openness to make the following resources available:
- Various Latin American collections identified through the Global Collections Initiative
- MIDAS, the Mexican Intelligence Digital Archives
- Latin American newspapers originally digitized through the World Newspaper Archive
- The Global Press Archive, an innovative new partnership with East View Information Services
- SAOA (South Asia Open Archives), an initiative sponsored by SAMP, which is hosted on the JSTOR platform
CRL staff members have reported on the open components of the Global Collections Initiative at quarterly webinars and in several issues of FOCUS, including a survey of the challenges of accessing and archiving source material on the web. The 2018 eDesiderata Forum examined the challenges of sustainably investing in Open Access models for primary data to support academic research.
CRL is committed to working with, and supporting, the global community of researchers, librarians, archivists, publishers, and others as we work to promote a resource environment where acccess to information is widely available for the benefit of all.