Press Release


Protecting Scholarly Books: New Federation Aims to Unify Comprehensive Book Retention

Boston, MA, January 23, 2019 – Academic and research libraries have long collaborated to preserve and protect the print scholarly record.  The newly formed Partnership for Shared Book Collections ( takes this work to the next level by coordinating collaboration for the protection of print books.

Preservation and storage facilities such as the Research Collections and Preservation Service (ReCAP), large scale digitization and preservation initiatives such as HathiTrust, and programs such as the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST) have all focused on long-term retention of books while ensuring they are accessible for scholars, faculty and students.  More recently, collaborations among consortial shared print programs are being formed, such as the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance which is focused on archiving print serials and journals. The Partnership for Shared Book Collections complements the Rosemont initiative with a focus on the print book.

The Partnership is a federation of the existing monograph shared print programs in the United States and Canada* as well as other allies of shared print.  It looks to coordinate collaboration across these programs to support cost-effective retention of, and access to, print book collections with the goal of ensuring the long-term preservation, accessibility, and integrity of these scholarly print resources. The member programs have collectively committed to retain close to 40 million books primarily in academic and research libraries across the United States and Canada. These collective collections are often selected for retention based on an analysis of overlap and uniqueness across the members’ local print collections, thus ensuring that no books are left behind. Big data – including historical usage, scarcity and uniqueness across the holdings of libraries both within North America and globally, and comparison with other programs – play a major role in informing these retention decisions. This ensures that the higher education community can have confidence that this cultural and scholarly content is being protected and accessible through inter-library loan or digitization.

The Partnership was formed as an outcome of two Shared Print Monograph Summit meetings sponsored by EAST and funded through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Details of and results from the Summit meetings can be found at  At their December, 2018 Summit, participating shared print program representatives agreed to support formation of a federation of shared print monograph programs called “Partnership for Shared Book Collections”, and endorsed a preliminary statement of mission, vision and principles. The participants began to plan the work needed over the course of the next year to bring the Partnership to life including forming Working Groups that will focus on governance, membership, services, and the business model for the federation as well as a Steering Committee to provide oversight.

Representatives from the Partnership will provide an update to the library community at the Print Archive Network (PAN) Forum being held at the American Library Association 2019 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle later this month.  Further details and updates will be posted to the Partnership website page  (

For more information on the Preservation for Shared Book Collections, please see the Contact information provided below.

* The following shared print programs have participated in planning for the Partnership for Shared Book Collections:

  • Academic Libraries of Indiana (ALI)
  • Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA)
  • California Digital Library (CDL)
  • Center for Research Libraries (CRL)
  • Central Iowa Collaborative Collections Initiative (CI-CCI)
  • Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries
  • ConnectNY
  • Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL)
  • Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST)
  • Five College Consortium
  • Florida Academic Repository (FLARE)
  • HathiTrust Digital Library
  • Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC)
  • Keep@Downsview
  • Maine Shared Collections Cooperative (MSCC)
  • Michigan Shared Print Initiative (MI-SPI)
  • Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI)
  • Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP)
  • Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC)
  • University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI)
  • Virtual Libraries of Virginia (VIVA)
  • Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC)

Contact: Susan Stearns, Project Director Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust