CRL Licensing

CRL negotiates favorable terms for purchase of (or subscription to) major electronic resources by member libraries. This activity is a natural extension of CRL's cooperative development of area studies and other primary source collections. In its licensing activities CRL works closely with the Northeast Research Libraries Consortium (NERL) and the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN).


CRL licensing activities focus on digitial data and content in areas of longstanding CRL collection strengths, including news; historical archives;  government and NGO-produced information; and other international content not readily available through mainstream channels. While pursuing e-resources identified as priorities by the CRL community, CRL endeavors to avoid items that are offered by other major consortia.   

Licensing Process


  • Staff at CRL and CRL libraries identify new priority resources from publishers’ offerings, and note them in eDesiderata, CRL's online platform for information about e-resources of interest.
  • CRL invites suggestions throughout the year; members can fill out a "Suggest Resources" form in eDesiderata.
  • Proposals can be generated by specialized CRL interest groups, including CIFNAL, GNARP, and the World Newspaper Archive Advisory Committee.

Assessment and Negotiation

  • CRL explores Initial terms: teleconferences and online polls may be held to consult members on particular issues.
  • CRL posts reviews in eDesiderata, evaluating the database content, interface functions, and licensing terms, soliciting contributions from specialists at CRL libraries.
  • Staff at CRL libraries post comments on eDesiderata entries.


  • Offers posted at intervals throughout the year are accessible through member login to eDesiderata.
  • CRL notes offer status and take-up; members can track updates through meDesiderata.

For more information on CRL's licensing activities, contact Melanie Kowalski, Open Knowledge Licensing Coordinator.