How has the nature of collections and preservation changed in an increasingly digital world?

Our research and advisory projects help secure access to and preservation of the scholarly record, reexamine the nature of collections within the research library, and evaluate the efficacy of preservation initiatives. 

Analyzing library acquisitions

As new vendors and acquisition methods disrupt customary means of acquiring books, are academic libraries bypassing traditional wholesale vendors for companies like Amazon? Thanks to a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we have undertaken a large-scale, national study to explore how library acquisition patterns are changing.

Evaluating preservation initiatives

  • Save America’s Treasures: On behalf of the American Architectural Foundation, we developed case studies of 21 preservation projects funded through the Save America’s Treasures program.  This program made possible the preservation and, in many cases, digitization of a remarkable number of historical resources. The case studies document how decisions were made and priorities established in the early days of digital technology, and the impact of this program.
  • The preservation of government publications: In testimony before the House of Representatives’ Committee on House Administration, Roger Schonfeld described how the Federal Depository Library Program might be updated to ensure preservation and access to government publications.
  • What to withdraw: This landmark study and accompanying tool helps libraries manage their print collections with greater flexibility, following the availability of digitized versions.

Tracking the perspectives of library directors

Through the US Library Survey, fielded on a triennial basis, we continue to track how library collecting practices are changing. Deans and directors use the results to aid their long-term planning and to benchmark their libraries against peer institutions. Insight from this national survey also informs the strategic directions of the service providers who sponsor this research.