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Mellon Foundation Funds Electronic Journal Archiving Project

The Harvard University Library (HUL) has been awarded $145,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to plan an archive for the long-term maintenance of electronic journals.

The grant reflects growing concern about the preservation of electronic scholarly journals. Without assurance that electronic journals will continue to be accessible over extended time frames, scholarly communities are hesitant to fully support the electronic medium for communication and publication. In the absence of an archiving solution, universities, libraries, and scholars face the dual costs of electronic subscriptions for current convenience and access, and paper subscriptions for archiving and long-term access. Moreover, any scholarly reports published solely in an electronic medium nowadays are in danger of being lost to future generations. The Mellon Foundation Electronic Journal Archiving Program is being administered in cooperation with the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Digital Library Federation, and the Coalition of Networked Information and involves some of the leading research libraries in designing institution-based initiatives to implement large-scale archiving programs.

The grant will support the one-year planning effort at the Harvard University Library to explore the issues related to electronic journal archiving and develop a plan for a repository for electronic journal publications. The expected outcome is a proposal for implementing an archive for these journals. Major areas to be studied during the year include:

  • identifying publisher partners and establishing agreements with them regarding archival rights and responsibilities;
  • formulating a technical implementation plan;
  • defining methodologies that the archive would adopt to validate its archival processes and assure scholars journals will be preserved and useable over time;
  • developing an acquisitions and growth plan; and
  • creating organizational and business models.

Two groups have been formed for this project. The Steering Committee will address policy and functional issues and the Technical Team will investigate technical issues and systems requirements.

Members of the Steering Committee are:

  • Ivy Anderson (Coordinator for Digital Acquisitions)
  • Marianne Burke (Assistant Director for Resource Management, Countway Library of Medicine)
  • Dale Flecker (Associate Director for Planning and Systems, Harvard University Library)
  • Diane Garner (Librarian for the Social Sciences, Harvard College Library)
  • Jeffrey Horrell (Associate Librarian of Harvard College for Collections)
  • Y. Kathy Kwan (E-Journal Archiving Project Manager)
  • Jan Merrill-Oldham (Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian)
  • Constance Rinaldo (Librarian, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology)
  • Lynne Schmelz (Librarian for the Sciences, Harvard College Library)
  • MacKenzie Smith (Digital Library Program Manager)

Members of the Technical Team are:

  • Stephen Abrams (Senior Programmer/Analyst)
  • Stephen Chapman (Preservation Librarian for Digital Initiatives)
  • Dale Flecker (Associate Director for Planning and Systems, Harvard University Library)
  • Y. Kathy Kwan (E-Journal Archiving Project Manager)
  • MacKenzie Smith (Digital Library Program Manager)
  • Robin Wendler (Metadata Analyst)

Six other major US research libraries received similar grants from the Mellon Foundation to carry out activities related to the archiving of electronic journals.

For more information about the grant activities at the Harvard University Library, contact Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Planning and Systems, at 5-3724 or

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Last modified on Thursday, April 18, 2002.