Committee on Institutional Cooperation Initiates a Shared Print Repository

Jun 22, 2011

Collectively, the thirteen member libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) hold some 85 million print volumes, the overwhelming majority being held multiple times across our campuses.  To better steward library resources, the CIC Library Directors have made a commitment to sharing the costs of storing and managing lesser-used print materials.  They recognize that more secure conditions can be maintained, and better user services supported, if some bodies of print content are held in common across the CIC libraries.  Such co-investment in a shared collection will relieve each individual school of the obligation to retain and independently manage its own legacy print collection.

The Directors’ plan calls for building a shared collection of 250,000 journal backfile volumes at the Indiana University’s Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF).  The ALF is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built, high-density storage facility with a total capacity of over 6 million volumes.  A working group of collection librarians has recommended that initial attention be directed to securing as complete runs as possible of Elsevier, Wiley and Springer journals, estimated at approximately 150,000 volumes, all of which are electronically accessible as licensed digital archives.  Indiana University (IU) has committed to ingesting, retaining and servicing this journal collection for at least twenty-five years, and beyond that for as long as the CIC libraries continue to offset the costs of storage.  Once procedures are developed for ingest and service, it is likely that additional CIC host sites will be recruited to house other resources on behalf of CIC libraries and scholars, thus growing the collection beyond the initial target of 250,000 volumes.

The CIC Shared Print Repository program will commence on July 1, 2011. Project oversight will be provided by the Directors of the partnering university libraries, with substantive input offered by several appointed working groups, and operational direction provided by IU staff and a Steering Committee whose initial membership includes Brenda Johnson (Indiana University), Carol Diedrichs (Ohio State University) and Paula Kaufman (University of Illinois).

Through this commitment to build a CIC Shared Print Repository, the Library Directors expect to coordinate with other regional consortia (WEST, ASERL, WRLN, RECAP, etc.) toward building a national framework for print preservation and access that supports cost-effective best practices for reporting holdings, and terms of access. 

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference plus the University of Chicago.  The CIC's mission is to advance academic excellence through collaboration across its member universities. It aims to be the national model for effective, voluntary collaboration among top-tier research universities.  Within the CIC, the Center for Library Initiatives (CLI) supports a variety of cooperative initiatives that link the research libraries of CIC member universities, helping them to save money, realize greater operational efficiencies, leverage specialized expertise, and extend available resources to 45,000 CIC faculty members and over 400,000 students. 

For more information about the CIC Shared Print Repository, please contact Mark Sandler (, or Kim Armstrong (

  • Library Initiatives