Columbia and Cornell Libraries Receive Mellon Grant for Expanding E-Journal Preservation
NEW YORK, October 23, 2013 –

The libraries at Columbia University and Cornell University are pleased to announce an 18-month, $150,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to conduct a project intended to expand significantly the preservation coverage of e-journals and to implement strategies that will sustain the initiative beyond the duration of the project.


The project, a joint undertaking of the partnership between the libraries of Columbia and Cornell known as 2CUL, will identify priority content from the perspective of the research library community and make significant progress towards increasing the number of e-journals archived by major preservation programs. Both Columbia and Cornell hold the preservation of, and continuity of access to, knowledge and culture as a core aspect of their mission, and they bring to the work a wealth of experience and substantial resources.

"The main objective of this project is to increase the number and range of e-journals that will be preserved, but it's equally important to develop and promote methods that can be broadly adopted to expand our work," said Oya Rieger, associate university librarian for digital scholarship and preservation services at Cornell University. "Making sure that the vital content in e-journals is available to scholars and researchers is an essential part of the process."

Electronic serials originate in all regions of the world, with the libraries of Columbia and Cornell each providing access to well over 100,000 titles. They are very significant as a record of scholarly research but also have importance as they contribute to cultural expression, report current events, and convey scientific, economic, legal, and governmental information.  In many fields, e-journals have become the predominant means of access for current research and, as libraries, concerned about space, act to consolidate their print collections, users increasingly rely for access on the digitized versions of historical titles. 

“Preservation initiatives such as CLOCKSS, LOCKSS, and Portico have been successful in preserving thousands of important journals, yet there are still at least twice as many that are not preserved anywhere,” said Bob Wolven, associate university librarian for bibliographic services & collection development at Columbia. “Libraries are eager to see more progress, and this project is an important step towards engaging more parties in a broad effort.”

The transformative 2CUL partnership began in 2009, with an initial grant from the Mellon Foundation that allowed Columbia and Cornell to join forces in addressing budgetary challenges posed by the economic recession and improve library efficiencies, promote innovation and meet new and emerging academic needs.

Cornell University Library’s rich collections, expert librarians, responsive services and welcoming spaces inspire and nourish scholarship and learning throughout the university. In the class of 2012, 85 percent of students reported that the Library contributed to their academic success and efficiency. Its world-class collection — around 8 million print volumes, nearly a million e-books and 5 million journal article downloads per year — covers incredibly diverse fields, such as hip-hop and punk, East and Southeast Asia, labor, agriculture, hospitality and Liberian law. Thanks to a 24/7 chat reference service, helpful librarians are always just a keystroke away. To learn more, visit library.cornell.edu.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS) is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 12 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers, including affiliates. CUL/IS employs more than 450 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

-END-
AM 10-23-13