May 22, 2022

Print Journals: PAPR (Print Archives Preservation Registry Project) Update From the California Digital Library

From a CDFLINFO News Post by Patricia Martin, California Digital Library:

University of California (UC) libraries are running out of space for print journals at the same time that circulation of print journals has declined. In response, print archiving programs like the Western Regional Storage Trust (WEST) are proving that UC libraries can eliminate redundant print copies, reclaim precious shelf space and assure that a print copy is available if it is needed. All ten UC campuses are WEST members.

First, print archiving member libraries analyze which of their print journals are held in common, then the libraries with the longest journal runs are asked if they will agree to retain a print copy for a long period of time.  Libraries agree to do this for their own benefit as well as for other member libraries.    Software to analyze the collections and a web interface to display those commitments are the other  components of PAPR.  The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) entered into a partnership with the California Digital Library (CDL) to create the system that will perform collection analysis and identify likely candidate titles for archiving for the WEST partner libraries.  That system is known as the Print Archives Preservation Registry (PAPR).  The WEST archiving program is the pilot has been driving initial requirements for PAPR, but CRL envisions PAPR will be open to other archiving programs as well.


The WEST project managers asked participating libraries to submit bibliographic records for all their journal titles. The WEST libraries responded enthusiastically—providing the PAPR team with TWICE as much data as originally expected!  Specifically, the PAPR team processed 2.75 million journal titles provided by 106 libraries at 83 institutions from September 2011 to January 2012. Each institution’s records went through a series of rigorous analysis and transformation steps before being loaded into the database.

The PAPR team has recently produced collection analysis reports for WEST, indicating  which titles are widely held among member libraries so that WEST members can select titles that will offer the greatest benefit in being archived. The collection analysis system is designed to identify widely held titles based on input criteria from an archiving program. Once titles are selected for archiving, PAPR identifies the institution with the longest run in order to make recommendations for archiving. Reports containing the information necessary to make local decisions are  provided to libraries to assist in their archiving workflows. Finally, reports will be produced for member libraries showing which titles can be de-selected based on archiving work done by partner libraries. PAPR was built to allow flexibility so that any archiving program can use its own decision-making criteria to produce reports and assist libraries with archiving and de-selection decisions.

Read the Full Text of Patricia Martin’s Update Post

Learn More About the PAPR Project at the California Digital Library

PAPR will be available in 2012, with additional enhancements planned for 2013. Searches of the database will be openly available through the CRL website.

Learn More About the PAPR Project via Center for Research Libraries

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.