The University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries has accepted the challenge of locally stored digital materials in part by keeping an archive of 8,000 reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). These reports currently take up 12GB of a 250GB hard drive. At the average CRS document size, UNT has room for more than 152,000 more CRS reports.
UNT has used a modified form of the free, open source Keystone Digital Library system to allow their collection to be searchable and browseable from their CRS home page at http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/.
Most of the funds for the original setup of the CRS archive came from a 2002 NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Research Grant Award of $2,000. Considerable staff time was spend on the Keystone software and there is ongoing staff time used in identifying, capturing, scanning, and assigning subjects to the reports. Many of the same things that would be required for tangible reports.
The CRS Archive, while a great example of how an institution can accept the challege of receiving, storing, and serving significant amounts of digital materials is but one collection in the UNT’s Government Documents Department’s digital collections.
The expertise for libraries to accept the challenge of digital deposit is out there. How many others will accept the challenge? What will it take for the Government Printing Office to provide the option so libraries won’t have to spend as much time chasing down e-docs of interest?
- Personal Communication with Valerie Glenn, December 12, 2005
- ALA “Newsbank” award page – 2002 Award