May 23, 2022

Conference Paper: The ICON Database: New Data for Decision-making on Newspaper Digitization and Preservation

The following paper will be presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (80th IFLA General Conference and Assembly) Satellite Meeting in Lyon, France, August 13-15, 2014.


The ICON Database: New Data for Decision making on Newspaper Digitization and Preservation


Bernard F. Reilly, Jr.
President, Center for Research Libraries


International Federation of Library Associations/WLIC 2014


Libraries invest heavily to digitize to newspapers and spend millions to purchase databases of digitized historical newspapers from commercial publishers. At the same time, they are required to make weighty decisions about the disposition of original newspaper back files, which are rapidly
disappearing. Unfortunately, these decisions are based on little hard information.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) major funding to expand its collecting and analysis of data on archived and digitized newspapers and, based on that data and analysis, to help create a common international agenda for newspaper digitization
and preservation that is rational, strategic and achievable. At the center of this effort is CRL’s recently expanded ICON database.

Direct to Full Text Paper (7 pages; PDF)

See Also: Direct to ICON Database
The database contains info about 40,361,798 issues from 172,968 publications dating from 1649–2012 (8/12/2014)

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.