Archiving by Domain: Law

In 2010, the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) was awarded a two-year Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership program grant to establish a model for cooperative, coordinated management of physical collections in two major fields of research.  The project, entitled Cooperative Print Archiving by Discipline: Developing an Infrastructure to Sustain Scholarly Resources, focuses on the fields of Law and Agriculture and will create a sustainable and scalable plan for cooperative management of legacy print materials at the local, state, regional, and national levels.  In its work on print archiving inb the field of law CRL is working with the Law Library Microform Consortium.

Information on this page highlights the goals, work and milestones of the project as it progresses.

Scope of Content

Members of the North American law and academic libraries community have identified primary U.S. and foreign legal publications as being at high risk of disappearing during the coming years, as law libraries shift resources to providing electronic access to legal information and other priorities.  Primary U.S. and foreign legal publications include: United States Statutes at Large; United States Code; United States Code Annotated; Federal Register; Code of Federal regulatons; United States Reports; Federal Reporter; Federal Supplement; Supreme Court Reporter, and other serial publications microfilmed by the Law Library Microform Consortium and/or included in the LLMC-Digital database.


Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC), see our webpage and brochure for more information on this partnership.

Current Activities

The project focuses on well-defined bodies of serials and some monographic materials that have been digitized and/or microfilmed to preservation standards by the partner organizations.  CRL and its partner organizations will undertake four major tasks: 

  1. Assemble a Supporting Information Base, providing holdings information adequate for archives “validation” in a centralized databases and Web resource.
  2. Document Baseline Archiving Conditions and Services, i.e., the conditions under which the source materials for the LLMC microfilming and digitization programs are archived, and the levels of access provided by the archiving institutions.
  3. Create Consensus on Expanding the Archives and Services, bringing together representatives of the major U.S. research libraries to establish a plan and five-year timetable for expanding the current print archiving content and services in both areas. 
  4. Develop and Implement Expanded Archiving Agreements, formalizing the commitments of the participating institutions to provide services and activities, and to support those services and activities.

At present CRL is collecting information on the  holdings of archived collections of legal materials in the defined area of focus (see "Scope of Content" above), and the terms of maintenance and service of those holdings. As part of this process, on November 21, 2011 CRL and LLMC are convening a small group of representatives of archiving libraries to help define achievable goals for expanding archiving in this domain.