Library of Congress joins the Keepers Registry

We are delighted to welcome the Library of Congress as the latest archiving organisation to join the Keepers Registry. 

The Registry provides the Library of Congress (LoC) with opportunity to share information on the titles and digital content that it is archiving for the long term.  This is in support of the interim regulation adopted in 2010 by the LoC Copyright Office governing mandatory deposit of online serials published in the United States of American and available online only.  

The Library of Congress is the research library of the US Congress.  Regarded by many as acting as a de facto national library for the USA, the Library was established as a legislative library in 1800, grew into a national institution during the 19th century and has now become an international resource of unparalleled dimensions, used as a provider of bibliographic services throughout the world.  The history of the Library is well described here.

Library of Congress Reading Room, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jumpingshark/2916701647/

Details about the ‘whys and wherefores’ of the archiving of electronic serials at the Library are set out on the website of the Keepers Registry, listed under ‘Archiving Agencies’. The first set of metadata for material ingested by the Library has just been received and in the near future this ‘holdings data’ will be displayed in the result sets for searches on titles.

This news has been a year in the making, initially mooted in December 2012 through a presentation as part of the “Digital Future & You” series at the Library of Congress and through a series of follow-up interactions that clarified the process for the recruitment of New Keepers.  That is helping outreach to other national libraries that have expressed interest. 

The Library of Congress already knew something about the Keepers Registry through its active participation as the US ISSN National Centre in the ISSN Network. This was first during the (PEPRS) project phase carried out as a joint activity by EDINA and the ISSN International Centre, and then as it was emerging as a service with stated mission to be a global monitor of archiving activity for digital content issued as serials.

The addition of the Library of Congress brings the total Keepers now participating in the Registry to ten, twice the number of archive agencies involved at the outset.  

 The project phase to pilot the e-journal preservation registry service (PEPRS) included the five most prominent archiving organisations at the time: CLOCKSS & Portico, e-Depot (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Netherlands) & the British Library, and the Global LOCKSS Network.  HathiTrust and the National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences also participated during the latter part of the pilot project, the former reporting on digitised journals. The Scholars Portal (Ontario, Canada) and the Archaeological Data Service (UK) joined earlier in 2013.

The Keepers Registry now has four national libraries reporting details of the serial titles and the volumes/issues that they are ingesting with long-term archival intent.

In terms of the number of ISSN assigned for online serials by their ISSN national centre, these include three countries that account for about a third (34%) of all e-serials titles assigned ISSN, as indicated below:

ISSN Assigned to Online Continuing Resources (cr), as at December 2012:
(Shown here only for ISSN National Centres Assigning 2,000 or more)

 

 

ISSN (cr)

%

United States

22 984

20.32

United Kingdom

10 635

9.40

Netherlands

4 824

4.26

 

 

 

Canada

6 295

5.57

Brazil

5 143

4.55

Germany

5 096

4.51

Spain

4 661

4.12

France

3 934

3.48

Australia

3 670

3.24

India

2 895

2.56

Finland

2 856

2.52

Denmark

2 846

2.52

Italy

2 753

2.43

New Zealand

2 185

1.93

 

 

 

International Centre

3 857

3.41

 

 

 

All other National Centres account for remaining c.25% of ISSN assigned.

 

 

The table above prompts reflection on the national sense of responsibility for archiving e-journal content. However, it should also serve to underline the sense of international interdependence, whereby the needs of scholarship in any one country is dependent upon what is published in another.  The table might also indicate a priority ranking, in numerical terms at least, for engagement with additional national libraries.

In that latter context there is significance in another recent recruit to the Keepers Registry, the Scholars Portal. This is a consortium of research libraries organised on a geographic basis. As such, it has a mission to support the needs of scholarship in Ontario but also, one supposes, giving special attention to scholarly content that is published in Canada.

 As one examines the countries listed in the table, that there is publication of scholarly and cultural material written and published in languages other than English, is apparent. One may conjecture that much of that e-serial content is not being archived by the larger archiving organisations, in part because this material does not come from the larger publishers.

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About Peter Burnhill

Director of EDINA and Head of Edinburgh University Data Library.
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