WEST Reaches 500K Volumes

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Forum Journal 3, no. 3 (1989). WEST’s 500,000th volume is archived by Arizona State University Libraries. Issue cover image by Martin Stupich, Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), 1988. Photo by Amy Watson, Arizona State University Libraries, 2016.

Member libraries of the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST)— which includes the UC San Diego Library and other UC libraries—have reached a major milestone in creating a shared print library collection for the ages, successfully archiving half a million volumes.

Academic and research libraries participating in the Trust will celebrate the 500,000th volume archived at a members meeting held at the American Library Association’s annual conference in June 2016.

The five hundred thousandth volume is an issue of the Forum Journal a publication of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Washington, D.C.). The print archive is held by Arizona State University Libraries and includes volumes contributed by several libraries in the region.

The Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) is a distributed shared print journal repository program in the western region of the United States. More than 70 research and academic libraries currently participate in WEST, including libraries from the University of California system, Stanford University, the University of Washington, Arizona State University, the University of Oregon, Rice University, University of Kansas, members of the California State University system and of the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC) among many others.

UC San Diego’s University Librarian, Brian Schottlaender, serves as Co-Chair of the WEST Executive Committee and Co-PI of the WEST Mellon grants.

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Bound volumes of Forum Journal held by Arizona State University Libraries. Photo by Amy Watson, Arizona State University Libraries, 2016.

Through distributed retention commitments and archive-building activities, members of WEST ensure the preservation of the scholarly record for future generations while also creating opportunities to reallocate library space for new collections and innovative user spaces. Print journal volumes are consolidated and retained at high-density library storage facilities and more than thirty-five (35) selected libraries in the region.  New titles are identified each year for inclusion in the Trust based on risk-management principles. WEST archives and retention commitments are visible internationally, through the Center for Research Libraries’ Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR) and OCLC WorldCat.
The Western Regional Storage Trust received generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in its initial planning and implementation phases (2010-2016) and is transitioning to a fully member-supported program.  WEST libraries archive approximately 45,000 volumes annually, and are currently exploring new services and broader collaborations with other print archiving and digitization programs to reshape collections and deepen institutional relationships to assure preservation of research publications for generations to come.

The University of California’s California Digital Library (CDL) serves as Administrative Host for the WEST program. For more information about WEST, visit http://www.cdlib.org/west.

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