University Committee on Libraries
Present: Steve Silliman,
Gail Bederman, Larry Rapagnani, John Adams, Jack Pratt, Larry Taylor, Roger
Jacobs, Mark Pilkinton, Margaret Porter, Gay Dannelly, Maureen Boulton,
John Weber, David Mengel, Harvey Bender, Jennifer Younger
The meeting began at 8:30.
Harvey Bender, chair, opened the meeting. Younger introduced Bernie Reilly,
President, Center for Research Libraries.
Mr. Reilly reviewed briefly the history of the Center, which was formed in the 1940s for the purpose of holding collections of lesser-used materials from libraries in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). Since then, the Center has grown into an organization with 96 voting members and 40 associate members. The mission of CRL is to foster and advance scholarly inquiry through cost-effective, cooperative programs that provide reliable access through traditional and electronic means to unique and unusual collections of library materials that are in all appropriate formats, international in scope, and comprehensive in disciplines.
CRL operates a global cooperative collection development and preservation program that assists academic and research libraries in making otherwise inaccessible and important research materials permanently available to scholars and researchers. CRL's program is supported by
a large centralized collection consisting of five major components upon which libraries make local collecting decisions. Academic institutions and their libraries reduce the costs of acquiring, processing, preserving and using carefully selected library materials held in shared ownership by CRL. The Center's collections are by definition, not driven by frequency of use, but rather by the needs of libraries and researchers, which are channeled through advisory boards for each subject or other area in which the Center collects. One criterion for ownership is that fewer than five other libraries own the material. The components are expensive to collect in relation to their use at any one institution, but are cost-effective when held in common and made available through pooled resources. Thus, the program reduces the rising costs of providing local access to resources that have limited ongoing local demand. Only twenty-five percent of the Center's collections are fully cataloged; many of the collections are described only categorically. Among the 4 million volumes held by the Center are a collection of 800,000 foreign dissertations, especially from Europe, and a 6,000 title global newspaper collection. Further information on CRL's collection programs can be found at:
In response to questions about archiving and preservation, Mr. Reilly mentioned that in recent years, the Center has had retained the hard copy of newspapers and other foreign materials that are microfilmed. The microfilming program provides access to items that are fragile and/or unique. The primary preservation thrust is climate controlled storage and minimal handling, with deacidification of only a small number of items. John Weberasked about the implications of digitization for the business of preservation at the Center? Mr. Reilly responded that it the costs of digital preservation will lie not in capturing the data, but rather in managing digital data. He mentioned some companies are investing in digital file management software as one means of addressing this question. The Center has some experience in digitizing and generally has been able to digitize all of the data even when the physical object is in pieces, as was the case recently for glass slides. The Center retains the physical object after digitizing and allows serious scholars to use the original objects as needed even where there is a digital, microfilm or facsimile
Mr. Reilly mentioned that
the Center's focus is primarily on off-site use, that is, delivery of the
materials to the scholars' home library. The Center's ILL policies are
"scholar-friendly," featuring long, renewable loan periods and the ability
to check out long runs of journals or newspapers. Some libraries include
catalog records from the Center in their local catalogs. Notre Dame does
not, but the library is planning on implementing new search software that
will allow simultaneous searching of the Center's catalog when search the
Notre Dame catalog.
Jacobs inquired whether member libraries can count the Center's holdings
as part of their collections? Mr. Reilly responded that member libraries
do not build any equity in the CRL collections. If a library drops its
membership, it is as if that library were never a member.
Harvey Bender thanked Mr.
Reilly for visiting Notre Dame and meeting with the UCL. The meeting was
adjourned at 8:45 a.m.