027.7 Zeitschrift für Bibliothekskultur 3,1 (2015): Platz schaffen!, S. 30-46.

DOI: 10.12685/027.7-3-1-58

ISSN: 2296-0597

Collections Earning Their Keep

An Overview of International Archiving Initiatives

Deborah Shorley, Daryl Yang, Brigitte Kromp, Wolfgang Mayer


The 2014 IFLA Satellite Conference was held in Paris on August 13 and 14 jointly by the Library Buildings and Equipment section and the Acquisitions and Collection Development section. The following article attempts to give an overview of selected projects regarding storage and archiving of print collections focussing on background, goals, financing and challenges. The international contributors were also invited to give their thoughts about future collaborations.

Im Anschluss an die von den IFLA-Sektionen Library Buildings and Equipment und Acquisitions and Collection Development gemeinsam organisierte Satellite Conference in Paris (13. und 14. August 2014) liefert dieser Beitrag einen Abriss über ausgewählte bibliothekarische Archivierungsinitiativen. Besondere Berücksichtigung finden dabei Hintergrund, Ziele und Finanzierung der Projekte sowie Herausforderungen, mit denen sich die jeweiligen Verantwortlichen konfrontiert sehen. Ein besonderes Anliegen war, Ideen zur künftigen internationalen Zusammenarbeit zu sammeln.

Faisant suite à la conférence satellite de l’IFLA organisée conjointement à Paris le 13 et le 14 août 2014 par la section Library Buildings and Equipment et la section Acquisitions and Collection Development, cet article tente de donner un aperçu de quelques projets choisis, réalisés dans le domaine de l’entreposage et de l’archivage des collections imprimées. L’accent sera mis sur le contexte, les buts visés, le financement et les défis relevés. Les intervenants internationaux ont également été invités à faire part de leurs idées concernant des collaborations futures.

1. Background

In recent years many academic libraries across the world have been trying to devise a way of reducing the proportion of time and money they devote to archiving of print material while at the same time ensuring the preservation of content for their patrons.

This has become even more particularly urgent as there is ever increasing demand from researchers for new scientific material, either purchased outright or licensed for use.

So this broad issue has been the subject of discussion at a number of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) satellite meetings and this has in turn led to presentations reporting on several individual archiving initiatives underway in Europe and North America. More specifically, the IFLA section on Acquisitions and Collection Development has taken the opportunity to offer a platform for exchange of information and experience. As a result of this the Austrian Shared Archiving Initiative, in close collaboration with the United Kingdom Research Reserve (UKRR) set up a panel discussion for the 2014 satellite meeting entitled “Best Practices for Legacy Collections Storage Initiatives” which was held in Paris on August 13th, 2014. [1]

Colleagues from all over the world were invited to present their initiatives within a framework of pre-defined questions.

On the day participants at the panel included Brigitte Kromp (Shared Archiving Austria), Bernadette Patte (Centre Technique du Livre de l’Enseignement Superiéur, CTLes), Janine Schmidt (Mukurta Solutions), Deborah Shorley (United Kingdom Research Reserve, UKRR), and Leslie Weir (Print Archives Preservation Registry, PAPR). Not surprisingly the panel session revealed that, although the libraries shared broadly common goals, their approaches were very varied, due mainly to widely differing local circumstances. For example as regards:

The panellists were unanimous about the urgent need to develop a framework for the international exchange of experience and models, and to implement standards for technical tools and the like thus leading to useful synergy.

As a first step in this collaborative project we present below the fact sheets describing eight different initiatives presented at the Paris meeting.

While the authors are aware that there are many other impressive archiving initiatives happening elsewhere, this article simply attempts to provide an overview of the projects covered in the discussion at the Paris IFLA satellite meeting.

To help us identify the similarities and differences between each of these initiatives the presenters were asked to provide best practice models in the form of fact sheets, covering the following topics:

2. Fact sheets of the initiatives

2.1 European projects

UK Research Reserve (UKRR)

Contribution by Deborah Shorley and Daryl Yang (UKRR, c/o Imperial College London)


Name of the project: UK Research Reserve
Country: Great Britain
Type of participants: Higher Education Institutions
Start year: 2007
Time span: Phase 1: Jan 2007 to Aug 2008

Phase 2: Feb 2009 to Jan 2015

Contact: UK Research Reserve

Imperial College London

Level 2

Central Library

South Kensington Campus



Deborah Shorley, Head, UKRR

Daryl Yang, UKRR Manager

Dan Crane, UKRR Coordinator


UK Research Reserve, UKRR, is a strategic programme set up to tackle the challenge of space shortage and to preserve access to print journals. By working with the British Library (BL), UKRR member institutions de-duplicate low-use print journals collaboratively and systematically. Through UKRR’s deduplication process, scarce items are identified and preserved and access to deaccessioned material is maintained.

To achieve this, UKRR aims to identify three copies of every item offered before it can be disposed – one is held by the BL as the access copy, and the other two by UKRR members as preservation copies. Two types of processes are in place in order to gather data that are essential to UKRR’s decision making – the shelf-checking process ensures physical items are indeed available on the BL’s shelves; the scarcity checking process determines how scarce an offered item is by evaluating holding records of all members (provided by SUNCAT, the Serials Union Catalogue [2], a service of Edina [3]). Simple description about UKRR’s process can be described as follows: UKRR members identify holdings they wish to dispose of and offer them to UKRR. UKRR checks offered holdings against the collections of the BL and of other members to determine whether such holdings are available elsewhere, and if so, who has what. Then UKRR informs offering members the final decisions for each offered holding and the members act accordingly to dispose of, retain, or transfer holdings to the BL which improve the collection the BL has for document delivery services.

To deal with the large amount of data UKRR processes, a tailor-made IT system was created to meet all parties’ needs. Linked Automated Register of Collaborative Holdings (LARCH) [4] is a system that stores all UKRR data and coordinates activities amongst different parties. As the programme progresses, the system has been developed and enhanced accordingly to better meet members’ needs and requirements.

Getting rid of stuff is a hard concept to sell. However, as the pressure on available space continues to grow, it is no longer possible to hide one’s head in the sand and do nothing. By tackling this issue together, libraries can share experience and practices. This togetherness helps build up confidence and trust within the library community and with academic colleagues. With the tools and evidence provided by UKRR, member libraries guide their local stakeholders through change and encourage people to reflect and rethink how libraries provide services to users.

Sustainability is one key challenge for UKRR. For most UKRR members, they view UKRR as a strategic programme and integrate it into their collection policy and planning. However, for some, UKRR simply provides a service that meets short-term operational needs. Collaboration underpins UKRR’s activities and the level of trust that has been built up throughout the years is a key asset to the programme’s success. To sustain the programme, it is therefore particularly important to make sure libraries continue to see the strategic importance of the programme and for the programme to remain relevant and to evolve with members.


Funding Body: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

GBP 10.000.000 (EUR 12.752.000)

UKRR has helped release more than 83 km of shelf space since Phase One. It is estimated that more than GBP 25.000.000 (EUR 31.880.000) of capital savings and GBP 2.400.000 (EUR 3.060.480) of estate costs per year have been realised as a result of UKRR’s collaborative work.


We have mentioned it’s crucial for UKRR to remain relevant and evolve with libraries’ needs. We are therefore interested in expanding our services beyond current membership and exploring the possibility of adopting new material for de-duplication. We have heard librarians’ concerns about monographs and think UKRR has the platform to explore whether it’s feasible to de-duplicate monographs on a national scale, and if so, how.

We are also interested in working with international partners – several European initiatives have visited us to learn from our experience. But how can we work with other programmes? What synergies can be created? Data sharing (e.g. a linked print repository database)? Exchange of physical material? If this is an idea that we all think is worth pursuing, gaining commitment, identifying areas of collaboration, and securing resources are crucial starting points to take the concept forward.


Contribution by Bernadette Patte (CTLes: Centre Technique du Livre de l’Enseignement Supérieur, operating body of the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research)


Name of the project:

CollEx (Collections d’excellence, infrastructure documentaire de recherche initiée par le ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche)

Country: France
Type of participants: French Academic and Research libraries
Start year: 2014
Time span: 2014-2020
Contact: CTLes

14, Avenue Gutenberg

Bussy Saint Georges

77607 Marne-La-Vallée Cedex 3


Jean-Louis Baraggioli, Director; jean-louis.baraggioli@ctles.fr


The CTLes is the only repository library in France. It is a public body operating with an independent legal status. It was created by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in 1994 to provide remote storage for Academic and Research libraries located in Paris or in the Île-de-France Region. In addition to that, the CTles has the responsibility to conduct with partners’ shared preservation programmes.

The total storage capacity of the facility is 76 km and it is dedicated to store exclusively printed material (monographs, serials, theses and dissertations). The purpose of shared preservation programmes is to maintain exhaustive, available and extensively identified printed serials collections in various academic fields. Therefore, the responsibility of preserving each collection is shared with CTLes’ partners.

The first and oldest programme is related to Medicine which involves 27 Academic and Research Libraries. It is an ongoing programme since 2004 and nearly 10.000 periodicals have been already identified and processed; remaining data processing is expected to be ended next year. Two linear km or 290 m2 have been moved, representing 150.000 periodical issues.

Another programme running since 2013 is in the field of Performing Arts. It involves 5 Academic and Research libraries located in Paris and the surroundings. So far, nearly 400 periodicals have been identified in this programme. Since the beginning of 2014, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research is developing CollEx, a programme designed to enhance national Centers of Excellence spread all over the territory with the aim of identifying and building comprehensive collections for delivery and preservation. In this specific context the CTLes’ mission shifted from a regional level to a national one. These programmes are to be implemented with other actions fostered by CollEx (collections mapping, document delivery service et cetera).

In order to fulfill this mission, the CTLes is developing partnerships with university libraries settled in different regions of France: up until now, we are working with Lille 3 University Library and Poitiers University Library.

Simultaneously, the CTLes is launching shared preservation programmes in new fields such as Philosophy, Physical Education and Sports, Geography and Urban Planning.

We are developing and enhancing collaborative tools in order to pool initiatives within our network: A collaborative work platform that provides information relating to the needs and intents of our network libraries and a specific database that centralizes any information about periodical collections, including gaps, physical state for a collection, holdings of any participant in the programme as well as the institution that holds the responsibility for maintaining and preserving the whole collection.

The key challenges of the project are to achieve shared preservation programmes’ implementation within a time frame of 5 years, to promote cohesion and coherence with national archiving programmes and, at a national level, shared preservation programmes should be hinged on documents’ availability (interlibrary loan) and on pooled acquisition programmes. [5]


Funding Body: Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Research

CTLes specific service dedicated to shared preservation programmes: 3 full-time employees (annual wages: EUR 138.000)

Potential savings due to project (e.g. by saving of space): Saving of space due to a preservation programme is 7 m = 1 m2 (fixed stacks).


The next steps of the project will be to extend shared preservation programmes to multiple academic fields, to develop collaborative work with partners not exclusively belonging to the higher education sector, and to develop partnerships at a European level with other repository libraries, as well as within other national programmes.


Contribution by Santi Balagué I Linares (GEPA facility manager)


Name of the project:

GEPA Cooperative repository (at CSUC: Consortium of Academic Services of Catalonia)

Country: Spain; Catalonia
Number of participants: 14 (until 2014)
Type of participants: University and academic libraries
Start year: 2008
Time span: Ongoing
Contact: CSUC

Gran Capità 2

08034 Barcelona


Santi Balagué, GEPA facility manager; santi.balague@csuc.cat


As a result of the collaboration between five entities – University of Lleida, Lleida, Department of Culture, Department of Universities and CSUC – GEPA was founded in 2003, the facility was created in 2006 and the building opened in 2008. Since 2009 the annual management is held by three institutions working together: Department of Culture, Department of Universities, CSUC.

GEPA is the collaborative off-campus print repository in Catalonia. It has 3 objectives: To save and preserve low use documents and ensuring their future access when needed. To convert room for books into room for library users. In doing so saving both money and space.

GEPA is open to all CSUC libraries, plus others that are previously approved by management bodies.

The repository accepts and stores non-fundamental materials, duplicate copies, never or rarely used materials, documents that we believe that someday will be useful, or of which a copy must be preserved.

GEPA provides environmental and safety conditions for the storage of documents, guarantees their preservation and future accessibility. In the process documents are kept maximizing the storage capacity of the facility.

Bibliographic evidence of the documents is provided through the local or the collective catalogue. Requests for the original document or copies can be made from GEPA and at the libraries and are processed within 24 hours.

GEPA document property is a mixed model of a collaborative collection (80%) and a cooperative collection (20%). The collaborative collection consists of a collective ownership where the institutions create backups of their documents and the GEPA keeps in general one copy of each item so the libraries may then withdraw their copies.

In case of a cooperative collection the library maintains the property, determines conditions for use and pays the costs.

GEPA strengths are CSUC strengths: the Consortium is well known and based solidly, working together is a must. But Catalonia is going through an intensive crisis, where public administration, universities and the consortium itself are facing reduced budgets.


Funding Body:

CSUC, Universities Department (Catalan Government) and Culture Department (Catalan Government)

Financing: EUR 3.000.000 (Rehabilitation and Commissioning)
Funding: EUR 150.000 / year

Potential savings due to project (e.g. by saving of space): Estimated saving money and space (2012): 980 m2, EUR 300.000


Because of the changing paradigm we are facing at libraries, we are dealing with key issues at managing collections. International bibliography insists on the importance of print repositories, but we need to answer some questions: granularity scale and cooperation (local, collaborative, regional, national and international), collaboration with massive digital projects, et cetera.

Shared Archiving Austria

Contribution by Brigitte Kromp and Wolfgang Mayer (Shared Archiving Austria, c/o University of Vienna, Library and Archive Services)


Name of the project: Verteilte Archivierung (= Shared Archiving Austria)
Country: Austria
Number of participants: 20
Type of participants: Austrian university libraries
Start year: 2011
Time span: Ongoing
Contact: Shared Archiving Austria

c/o University of Vienna

Library and Archive Services

Universitätsring 1

1010 Vienna


Brigitte Kromp and Wolfgang Mayer, contact persons


The Austrian Shared Archiving Initiative was born by merging two similar initiatives which were launched independently of each other: The focus group “National Archiving Concept” which was installed by the Council of Austrian University Libraries (ubifo) [6] for the purpose of drawing up a relevant theoretical concept and a second project started by the Vienna University Library to reduce the number of duplicates stored at the library’s approximately 50 locations. The two projects were subsequently brought together to concentrate competences and avoid parallel activities [7].

All of the 20 university libraries were ultimately willing to participate and the ubifo acts as project governance and frequent meeting platform of stakeholders. Representatives from each institution act as link between project and local library and are responsible for the operational level of the project. For the first few archiving projects coordination work is based at Vienna University Library but is planned to be disseminated in the future.

In a first step the members of the initiative agreed upon to focus on print issues of electronically available journals. For those journals only one copy at a time will be kept throughout Austria, duplicates may be weeded. The intention is to identify “best holdings” and to allocate these to selected archiving libraries. So contrary to many other projects electronic availability is the primary criteria for inclusion of products instead of low print usage or scarcity. Close cooperation with collaborative licensing via the Austrian Academic Consortia (KEMÖ) [8] enhances effects of synergy considerably.

“Best holding” as such was not defined but a catalogue of criteria was provided to determine the term: maximum completeness, good state of preservation, ready availability of print copies. “Best holding” in its simplest form may refer to the holding of a single institution or it may be produced by bringing together previously incomplete collections. According to the principle of shared archiving it is also possible for the “best holding” to remain spread across several locations. Once libraries dispense with their holdings, however, they also transfer ownership of these.

This joint approach is to spread the burdens more evenly. The archiving library undertakes to adhere to the agreed standards, such as prompt document delivery or correct long-term archiving. Its partners are able to reduce the number of items and thus cut back on costs for storage and administration.

In cooperation with the OBVSG (Österreichische Bibliothekenverbund und Service GmbH (= Austrian Library Network and Service Ltd.) [9], new central holdings defining items as shared archived material were created for the Austrian union catalogue and search engine. Communication between project partners, documentation and collaborative work processes were made possible by use of non-proprietary tools like MS Excel and Wikis also provided by the OBVSG. With the end of 2014 journals of the American Physical Society (APS) have been archived as the first project conversed. All journals of the American Chemical Society (ACS) as well as journals and proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) are ready to go in 2015. Next products will be the journals of Institute of Physics (IOP), American Institute of Physics (AIP) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

One of the main strengths of the project is the legal structure based on a framework contract which along with the usual constituent parts also governs the rights and duties of the archiving libraries. This contract has been signed by all Austrian universities. Based on this preparatory contract additional product-specific amendments for individual publishers, collections, et cetera can be written quite fast and easily. Those are signed by libraries only with interest in the shared archiving of these journals.

A specific characteristic of the Austrian project is the lack of additional funding. All work is done by librarians within the framework of their usual daily work. Other expenses incurred, like transport costs, are distributed diversely. This can be seen as strength and weakness at the same time. While it perhaps compromises the pace of progress of the project it simplified and accelerated its implementation. Furthermore this situation prevents dependency on external sources.


Funding Body: Council of Austrian University Libraries (ubifo)
Budget: No external financial resources

Employees of participating libraries contribute within their daily work

Other costs (transport et cetera) are allocated variably dependent of project

Savings exemplified by pilot project ACS: 860 running meters (=116 m2) space equals a total of EUR 19.363 rental fee annually


Inclusion of the Austrian National Library for weeding out extensive non-scientific newspaper and magazine material sustainably digitized there. International collaboration and information exchange.

2.2 Glances beyond the European borders

Practices for Legacy Collections / Australian Overview

Contribution by Janine Schmidt (Director, Mukurta Solutions, Brisbane, Australia)


Name of the project: Practices for Legacy Collections
Country: Australia
Type of participants: Focuses primarily on academic libraries
Start year: Various
Time span: Ongoing
Contact: Janine Schmidt; janine@mukurta.com

Other addresses in article


Australia is a very large country into which most of Europe will fit – and leave some. Libraries with large print collections receiving low use have adopted various strategies over the years and across the country with major developments occurring either regionally or individually rather than centrally. Strategies and initiatives have intensified with the growth of online access and associated issues of storage of heritage print collections.

Some libraries have taken individual responsibility for the storage of their low use print collections and constructed:

Other Australian libraries have chosen involvement in collaborative projects with two major examples in the state of South Australia and Victoria. The Universities’ Research Repository – South Australia (URSSA) [12] in Adelaide has been in existence for over 20 years and provides secure, high density storage for lesser-used volumes of three university libraries in Adelaide. Managed by one of the universities, it has a capacity of 1.1 million volumes. Items are requested via the catalogue of each university and delivered physically, using a shared courier service with daily visits to each university campus and the store, or articles are supplied through e-mail. Usage is low at 1% per annum.

Another major regional project in Australia is the CAVAL – CARM (CAVAL Archival and Research Materials) Centre [13] in Melbourne, Victoria. There are two stages of the CARM store, one begun in 1996 and one in 2010, with a capacity of 1.3 million volumes. Each has different approaches, with the first stage containing low use, last copies, shared items, and the second primarily self-owned materials. Material is accessed through the CARM Centre catalogue, Trove (Australia’s online listing of all holdings of contributing Australian libraries [14]), and WorldCat. The recent addition of holdings through the discovery layers of individual institutions has led to a 30% increase in requests. 3-5% of the collection is accessed per annum, mostly supplied through interlibrary loan and document delivery, and the facility is managed by CAVAL, a consortium of 11 Australian universities and the State Library of Victoria, with an advisory committee. [15]

The initial costs of automated retrieval systems are high but ongoing costs low. In South Australia, the costings have two components, with fixed costs distributed according to the amount of space used, and variable costs based on volumes retrieved and reshelved. In Victoria, the initial construction was funded by the central Federal government, and the Victorian government, as well as consortium members. Ongoing costs are met by the consortium and by leasing for the second store. Cost of storage is AUD 0.60 – AUD 0.90 per volume [16].

The challenges faced by all storage initiatives are poor return on investment, with usage ranging from 0.5-5% per year. Specially built storage facilities permit collection rationalisation and re-use of local institutional space. Distributed locations ensure they are located close to the institutions they serve. Agreements on ownership of material (retained or ceded) can be difficult to negotiate. Most stores rearrange material in a running number sequence which can be re-allocated – but any advantages of subject collocation are lost. Intellectual access through local and union catalogues and discovery layers is essential. The cost of transferring materials, including the amendment of records is high. Some clients want physical access to the collection for browsing, and this cannot always be achieved. Coping with the issues of differently sized institutions in collaborative arrangements is problematical as is managing staff and client expectations. Variable policies for print retention, particularly for monographs, require resolution.


Funding Body: Government and institutional funding
Budget: Various

Potential savings due to project (e.g. by saving of space): Re-use of space for clients


All print is becoming low use, and long-term retention of large print collections receiving little or no use will be difficult. Many libraries and storage facilities are deciding to discard print journals and focus on the retention of monographs. Better collection management strategies are required as well as an improved understanding of client needs. Perhaps collaborative purchasing is a prerequisite or alternative to collaborative storage. Such initiatives as BONUS+, ArticleReach, and the HathiTrust may be the way of the future.

BONUS+ is a free, resource-sharing project that allows all students and staff from 14 university libraries to request selected library materials from member institutions within Australia and New Zealand [17]. ArticleReach [18] involves 11 university libraries internationally, with clients able to request journal articles directly. Organisations like ARL [19] and JISC [20] are examining long-term projects with scholarly monographs which may well supply solutions for the future.

CONZUL Collaborative Storage of Library Print Collections New Zealand

Contribution by Janine Schmidt (Director, Mukurta Solutions, Brisbane, Australia)


Name of the project: Collaborative Storage of Library Print Collections
Country: New Zealand
Number of participants: 8
Type of participants: University libraries
Start year: 2011
Time span: Ongoing
Contact: Janine Schmidt; janine@mukurta.com

Helen Renwick; h.renwick@auckland.ac.nz


New Zealand is a small country with a population of 4.5 million and eight universities spread over two large islands to the south east of Australia. In the early 2000s, a vision was developed for a single copy storage of low use legacy print collections in major libraries. The concept involved a national store to include the eight university libraries and five large public libraries. This initial concept was not realised. In 2009, the New Zealand government funded through the Tertiary Education Commission a study to examine the various options for storage of low use print by university libraries, current holdings then being 19 km of serials and 17 km of books. The study focused on rationalising the retention of low-use print research collections to release library building space for alternative uses. Moderating the costs of further library buildings was an aim, along with the preservation of print research collections and the provision of effective access to stored research collections. It was hoped to leverage off developments in the UK, USA and Australia.

The study examined a range of alternatives for future storage and determined that outsourcing to a commercial supplier was the most cost-effective solution. No initial construction costs would be involved, and ongoing costs could be shared. There are no environmental controls. The facilities are clean and dry and have acceptable temperature fluctuations. The project is truly collaborative, in that ongoing costs are divided according to costs and budgets, and not use of the facility. One third of the costs is allocated equally to each of the eight universities and the remaining two thirds of the costs are distributed according to the university budget allocation for each university in the scheme.

Ownership of the materials is ceded to UNZ (Universities New Zealand) for administrative purposes. The materials are stored in boxes with barcodes for tracking. Consecutive deposit by each university library is occurring, the first being the largest, the University of Auckland, which has also taken a leadership role in the project. Five universities have lodged materials to date. Holdings are listed nationally on Te Puna, New Zealand’s online listing of holdings of contributing libraries in New Zealand, with links to the rest of the world [21] and on individual library catalogues. There is a shared website for communication. To date, there are 214.000 volumes stored. Items requested by clients are scanned and e-mailed, although the collections are physically accessible with reading rooms for clients. [22] The current focus is on the CONZUL (Council of New Zealand University Librarians [23]) single copy store of legacy print journals available electronically [24].

The project involves collaborative approaches to decision making and a joint governance model. It is envisaged that later moves will be made to the storage of monographs.

The main challenge of the initiative is certainly the funding problem. But keeping the project small has led to the success of the project, as well as taking small steps initially. Outsourcing to a commercial provider has reduced the set-up costs and made the ongoing costs manageable. The equal sharing of the costs has also led to a greater participation and involvement, with overarching institutional support.


Funding Body: Government funding of initial study. Ongoing institutional shared costs
Funding: Potential savings due to project (e.g. by saving of space)

Space released for alternate uses


The next step is to extend the project through the inclusion of monographs.

Paper Print Archive Registry (PAPR)

Contribution by Leslie Weir (University Librarian, University of Ottawa, Canada)


Name of the project: Paper Print Archive Registry (PAPR)
Country: Canada, United States
Type of participants:

30 members including research libraries, consortia and print repository projects with a total of 89 institutions preserving almost 80.000 serial titles

Contact: Hosted by Center for Research Libraries (CRL) [25]



PAPR is a registry that supports archiving management of serial collections by providing comprehensive information about titles, holdings, and archiving terms and conditions of major print archiving programmes. PAPR includes:

These programmes include the Law Library Microform Consortium (LLMC) [26], CRL’s JSTOR archive, Portico [27], Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) [28] and CLOCKSS [29]. The current manifestation of PAPR serves as a data analysis system for the WEST project and uses standards developed by the OCLC print archives disclosure pilot project [30] to transmit data via the MARC field 583. Further development of PAPR will address additional functional, data and user needs. The knowledge base and tools, including PAPR, will augment existing CRL services and activities that support the strategic management and development of collections at the local and regional level.

The California Digital Library (CDL) [31] served as development partner for PAPR. Additional advisory services were provided by CRL consultant Lizanne Payne and Ithaka S+R [32]. Development will continue in order to serve the ever expanding needs of the community.


This broader set of resources is provided to the CRL community and other participants in the Global Resources Forum (GRF) [33]. Development of the Global Resources Forum was supported by CRL members and by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation [34].


PAPR plans to continue expanding its membership by attracting new print repository projects and consortia.

Shared High Density Library Storage Facility (Downsview 5)

Contribution by Leslie Weir (University Librarian, University of Ottawa, Canada)


Name of the project: Shared High Density Library Storage Facility (Downsview 5)
Country: Canada
Type of participants:

5 Research Libraries: McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto and Western University

Start year: Funding received in 2014 with the facility scheduled to open in August 2015
Time span: Ongoing
Contact: Leslie Weir (University of Ottawa); lweir@uottawa.ca


Academic research libraries across North America are striving to achieve the optimal mix of collections, spaces, and services that will best position them for the future. Having developed large and nationally significant collections over a period of many years, our five libraries feel acutely the competing pressures of collections and spaces. As members of the Shared Preservation Collection project, our libraries have come together to meet this challenge with the bold and innovative vision of a truly shared collection, moving our institutions beyond the usual space-sharing arrangement and providing all of our users with streamlined access to a wealth of scholarly resources. The most heavily accessed materials in our libraries will remain in close proximity to our user communities. Low-demand items from our collections may be transferred to a shared, de-duplicated collection housed at the University of Toronto’s Downsview facility. All items (journals and monographs) in the low-demand collection will be discoverable and can be requested in each participating institution’s catalogue. By bringing together expansive and efficient high-density storage, removal of duplicated works across our collections, and use of the existing transportation network and new models of desktop delivery, we will support the release of space for new purposes in each of our libraries. We see this as a winning combination that balances space and financial concerns with the assurance that low-demand materials from our collections remain readily available for research and study.

The idea of the “shared preservation copy” is one of the foundations of this project. By eliminating duplicate copies of low-demand materials from across our collections in favour of a single shared copy, we can focus our efforts on providing long-term access to research materials. Additionally, we can retain ownership of all previously-purchased materials while generating significant efficiencies of scale and cost savings compared to multiple individual storage locations at our individual institutions.

Governance includes the Steering Committee, Business Committee and Coordination Committee which"includes the Service Delivery and Metadata Subcommittees. Challenges include finalize the shared ownership model, ascertain how to develop a shared knowledge base amongst the 5 participating institutions and develop the on-going financial cost-share model.


The project received CAD 2 million of funding awarded by the Ontario provincial government’s Productivity and Innovation Fund to cover the costs of 2 new bays to be constructed at the University of Toronto storage facility, to store approximately 2 million volumes with the universities assume the ongoing costs.


Complete planning, develop the shared ownership, on-going financial and service models, and carry out implementation for August 2015 opening. Meanwhile considering service models for document delivery to other institutions.

3. Conclusions

As it is clear each of these initiatives is radically different in its approach. This is far from surprising: the immediate problems they seek to address are far from identical, and the varying national contexts encourage a wide range of solutions. And it is of course far too soon to say with any certainty how effective each of these programmes will be in the longer term. But it is important to remember that all these programmes demonstrate in their different ways a clear understanding of the fundamental purpose of library collections: to support as effectively as possible the research endeavour across all disciplines. We must never allow ourselves to become so absorbed in the operational detail of our projects that we lose sight of this, the primary purpose of our libraries.

So, these first tentative steps towards systematic preservation of legacy collections are greatly to be welcomed, not just by librarians struggling to control their ever expanding libraries, but also by the international research community which depends on having access to the widest range of resources to do its work. Now we must work together to build on these foundations by developing a more structured and concerted approach to the issue. There is much to be done. For a start we don’t currently know enough about who is doing what and where. A useful start might be to undertake a systematic audit of cognate initiatives, and to monitor progress so far across Europe. Such a survey could lead on to the establishment of a platform to support work of this nature, so that we can share experience and learn from one another about what works and what doesn’t.

At the same time there is an urgent need to draw up guidelines for good practice in this area, without which irrevocable mistakes are inevitable. A shared platform would facilitate this work, too.

Doing nothing is not an option. We are keenly aware that print collections are disappearing quickly. Although digital content is increasing fast, there are gaps remaining and some resources have already been lost forever. As individual initiatives focus, understandably, on local issues, valuable opportunities will be lost due to the continued lack of a pan-European perspective. We also know that between us we are accumulating a large quantity of data and that in some instances unique systems have been developed to cope with it. The longer we delay investigating how different data sets can best communicate with each other, the more difficult it will be to provide a unified high-quality data set for researchers.

Needless to say financial resources are as ever very limited, so we need to work smartly. If at all possible we should identify funding streams to support our plans. It may be possible to work with pan-European organisations such as LIBER to undertake an audit of what is already underway, and what is in the pipeline. Such a project would give us a sound basis to build on for future more ambitious programmes. It would also help foster good practice in a new area of library management which is rapidly emerging as a priority at a time when we have less space than ever to house our physical collections, but can take advantage of technology to mitigate the problem.

One thing is for certain: the longer we prevaricate, the less confident we can be that our legacy collections are safely preserved for posterity. We cannot afford to wait.

[1] http://iflasection20.org/space-and-collections-earning-their-keep-transformation-technologies-and-re-tooling/ (as of: 12.12.2014).

[2] http://suncat.ac.uk/search (as of: 12.12.2014).

[3] http://edina.ac.uk/ (as of: 12.12.2014).

[4] http://www.ukrr.ac.uk/resources/LARCH%20User%20Guide-v.4.2.pdf (as of: 12.12.2014).

[5] Patte, B. and Baraggioli, J.-L. (2014). The CTLes, France: a Case Study of Best Practice in Collaborative Storage. http://www.liscom.org/postContent/fullPaper/P%20Pl%203%20CTLes.pdf (as of: 15.12.2014).

[6] http://www.ubifo.at/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[7] Kromp, B. and Mayer, W. (2011). Shared Archiving as a Chance to Acquire Fresh Money for Collection Development. http://conference.ifla.org/past-wlic/2011/113-kromp-en.pdf (as of: 15.12.2014).

[8] https://www.konsortien.at/ssl/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[9] http://www.obvsg.at/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[10] http://www.library.mq.edu.au/newlibrary/arc.pdf (as of: 15.12.2014).

[11] https://www.uts.edu.au/partners-and-community/initiatives/city-campus-master-plan/projects-progress/library-retrieval (as of: 15.12.2014).

[12] http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/about/libraries/urrsa/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[13] http://www.caval.edu.au/carm.html (as of: 15.12.2014).

[14] http://trove.nla.gov.au/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[15] Jilovsky, C. (2013). The CARM2 print repository: from planning to operations. In: Library Management 34.4/5, pp. 281–289. DOI: 10.1108/01435121311328627.

[16] A useful cost analysis is provided at http://www.caval.edu.au/assets/files/Research_and_Advocacy/Library_Space_Planning_CAVAL_Educause_CARM_Poster_April_2011.pdf (as of: 15.12.2014).

[17] https://bonus.newcastle.edu.au/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[18] https://arlir.iii.com/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[19] http://www.arl.org/events/upcoming-events/arl-fall-forum-2014/summary-of-and-slides-from-arl-fall-forum-2014 (as of: 15.12.2014).

[20] http://monographs.jiscinvolve.org/wp/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[21] http://natlib.govt.nz/librarians/te-puna/te-puna-search (as of: 15.12.2014).

[22] Renwick, H. (2013). Collaborative storage of print serials in New Zealand. In: Library Management 34.4/5, pp. 335–341. DOI: 10.1108/01435121311328672.

[23] http://www.universitiesnz.ac.nz/aboutus/sc/conzul (as of: 15.12.2014).

[24] Renwick, H. (2012). Preserving Print Collections: the New Zealand University Libraries and Collaborative Storage. http://www.nrl.fi/ifla2012/kuopiosatellite/Papers/Renwick.pdf (as of: 15.12.2014).

[25] http://www.crl.edu/about (as of: 15.12.2014).

[26] http://www.llmc.com/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[27] http://www.portico.org/digital-preservation/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[28] http://www.cdlib.org/west/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[29] http://www.clockss.org/clockss/Home (as of: 15.12.2014).

[30] http://www.oclc.org/services/projects/shared-print-management.en.html (as of: 15.12.2014).

[31] http://www.cdlib.org/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[32] http://www.sr.ithaka.org/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

[33] http://www.crl.edu/forum (as of: 15.12.2014).

[34] http://www.mellon.org/ (as of: 15.12.2014).

Deborah Shorley is Head of United Kingdom Research Reserve (UKRR), E-Mail: ukrr@ukrr.ac.uk

Daryl Yang is the United Kingdom Research Reserve (UKRR) Manager and is based at Imperial College London, E-Mail: ukrr@ukrr.ac.uk

Brigitte Kromp is Head of the Austrian Central Library for Physics and Head of Consortia Management of Vienna University Library. Boltzmanngasse 5, 1090 Vienna, E-Mail: brigitte.kromp@univie.ac.at

Wolfgang Mayer is Head of the eResource Management Department of Vienna University Library. Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna, E-Mail: wolf.mayer@univie.ac.at