Associate University Librarian for Bibliographic Services and Collection Development
|Carlen M. Ruschoff
Director of Information Technology & Technical Services
University of Maryland at College Park
A number of organizations and institutions are working to harvest Web content before it disappears, but the real challenge behind that objective includes the development of coherent, holistic models for incorporating Web content into research library collections. Such models must go beyond the undertaking of harvesting and archiving Web pages– they must include establishing selection policies, integrating access with related published and archival collections, and creating sustainable workflows within the library’s broader collecting program. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a grant to Columbia University Libraries and the University of Maryland Libraries in support of a collaborative project with three interrelated objectives:
to identify actions needed to incorporate freely available Web content in the libraries’ collection-building processes
to estimate the scale of institutional investment needed to pursue such a program, retrospectively and on an ongoing basis
to suggest means by which such local investment, as well as the benefits of the resulting collections, can be shared across and among the larger research library community.
To test these questions and develop models applicable to a range of content, Columbia and Maryland are each focusing on a subject area in which it has strong existing collections and a strong research interest: Columbia on human rights and Maryland on historic preservation (saving historic places and revitalizing communities in the U.S.). For both of these subject areas, a significant body of content is generated by non-commercial organizations, with a growing amount in digital form only and with uncertain prospects for long-term availability.
The principle investigators from Columbia University and the University of Maryland will summarize their progress and issues encountered in this investigation and invite discussion and advice from participants attending this briefing.