Preservation Initiatives

In recent years, CARL has played a key role in ensuring that questions pertaining to the preservation of Canada’s digital scholarly record, whether print or digital, is being discussed across memory institutions responsible for this work, and that collective efforts are undertaken whenever possible.

Coordinated Preservation of Print Copies

In 2022, North: The Canadian Shared Print Network was launched to coordinate regional shared print initiatives and include libraries not yet in a shared print program. Sponsored by national organizations, it consolidates print collections while ensuring long-term content retention and access, focusing on Canadian materials. This initiative builds on earlier efforts: in 2018, CARL and Library and Archives Canada formed the Canadian Collective Print Strategy Working Group to develop a national collective print preservation strategy. This stemmed from the 2017 CARL forum @Risk North (Collections en péril), which discussed shared print preservation. Additionally, CARL has a history of involvement in print preservation, including the 2011 publication of a model for permanent conservation and participation in LAC’s Last Copies initiative. Final Report of the Canadian Collective Print Strategy Working Group (2020).

Digital Preservation

In 2016, CARL formed the Digital Preservation Working Group (DPWG) to bring together experts from academic libraries, archives, and other related organizations to ensure the long-term stewardship of Canada’s digital scholarly record and documentary heritage. The group studies digital preservation capacity and develops strategies and training opportunities. The Canadian Web Archiving Coalition (CWAC), an offshoot of DPWG, focuses on preserving web-based content across Canada.

Government Information

Libraries, archives, and other memory institutions ensure the accessibility of government information for historical research and policy-making. However, the vast scale of today’s government data, the fragility of digital media, and the complexities and costs of digital stewardship threaten the survival of these key resources.

Leviathan North

The Leviathan North meeting, inspired by the Center for Research Libraries’ 2014 Leviathan meeting, brought together stakeholders to discuss the long-term preservation and use of government information. Jointly sponsored by CARL and the Center for Research Libraries Global Resources Network, it explored challenges and collaborative opportunities for future preservation efforts. Final report on Leviathan North.

Theses and Dissertations

CARL members collect and retain their students’ theses and dissertations in local institutional repositories, and then work with LAC to enable these works to be harvested or otherwise captured by LAC for a nationally-aggregated preservation and open access collection. Theses Canada is a collaborative program between Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and nearly 70 universities. Its collection contains both microfiche and electronic theses and dissertations.

Regional Initiatives

  • COPPUL Private LOCKSS Network preserves digital materials of local interest, such as small university press publications and open access journals, using the LOCKSS system.
  • Preservation Initiatives of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) focuses on preserving Ontario’s academic collections, both print and digital, and pooling resources for joint academic resource purchases.
  • The Digital Preservation and Stewardship Committee of the Council of Atlantic University Libraries (CAUL) helps to foster and advance digital preservation and stewardship amongst its members.