Why does print archiving matter?

University of California (UC) libraries are running out of space for print journals at the same time that circulation of print journals has declined. In response, print archiving programs like the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) are proving that UC libraries can eliminate redundant print copies, reclaim precious shelf space and assure that a print copy is available if it is needed. All ten UC campuses are WEST members.

How do you make print archiving a reality?

First, print archiving member libraries analyze which of their print journals are held in common, then the libraries with the longest journal runs are asked if they will agree to retain a print copy for a long period of time.  Libraries agree to do this for their own benefit as well as for other member libraries.    Software to analyze the collections and a web interface to display those commitments are the other  components of PAPR.  The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) entered into a partnership with the California Digital Library (CDL) to create the system that will perform collection analysis and identify likely candidate titles for archiving for the WEST partner libraries.  That system is known as the Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR).  The WEST archiving program is the pilot has been driving initial requirements for PAPR, but CRL envisions PAPR will be open to other archiving programs as well.

CDL’s Discovery & Delivery group formed the CDL PAPR Team

Drawing upon staff expertise developed over 20 years in building and running massive bibliographic management systems, coupled with its comprehensive understanding of bibliographic metadata,  the PAPR team at CDL worked closely with both CRL and WEST to identify requirements and then build the system.  This complex project took less than a year to get up and running in support of WEST’s needs.   The team continues to work closely with CRL and WEST project managers to develop, implement, and refine requirements for the heart of PAPR—the collection analysis system.

What’s been achieved so far?

The WEST project managers asked participating libraries to submit bibliographic records for all their journal titles. The WEST libraries responded enthusiastically—providing the PAPR team with TWICE as much data as originally expected!  Specifically, the PAPR team processed 2.75 million journal titles provided by 106 libraries at 83 institutions from September 2011 to January 2012. Each institution’s records went through a series of rigorous analysis and transformation steps before being loaded into the database.

What’s next? This is where it gets really interesting.

The PAPR team has recently produced collection analysis reports for WEST, indicating  which titles are widely held among member libraries so that WEST members can select titles that will offer the greatest benefit in being archived. The collection analysis system is designed to identify widely held titles based on input criteria from an archiving program. Once titles are selected for archiving, PAPR identifies the institution with the longest run in order to make recommendations for archiving. Reports containing the information necessary to make local decisions are  provided to libraries to assist in their archiving workflows. Finally, reports will be produced for member libraries showing which titles can be de-selected based on archiving work done by partner libraries. PAPR was built to allow flexibility so that any archiving program can use its own decision-making criteria to produce reports and assist libraries with archiving and de-selection decisions.

What’s important for UC libraries to know about the PAPR project?

  • Nine of the ten UC campuses have contributed their serials records to PAPR. Only UC Merced, which does not have any print journals, is not participating.
  • It’s an opportunity for UC libraries who are WEST members to de-select titles and reclaim scarce shelf space.
  • PAPR strives to automate the highly complex and variable processes of managing print serials archiving for WEST member libraries.

The CRL website has more information about PAPR: http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/print-archives/papr