Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Preservation of Web-Based Government Documents in Canada

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries recently released an April 2007 update of a report by Andrew Hubbertz entitled Collection and Preservation of Web-Based Provincial/Territorial Government Publications.

I posted about the original report on April 4, 2005 (New Report on Preservation of Web-Based Provincial Government Publications).

The update provides a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction description of the current state of affairs relating to the collection and preservation of web-based government information in Canada.
"In the 2005 report, it was found that there were no significant programs for collecting web-based government information in seven of our thirteen provincial and territorial jurisdictions. Happily, we can report that this number has been reduced. This time, we can report on developments for the first time in: New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Nunavut".
Hubbertz declares that there is still little progress to report regarding Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island or the Yukon.

Among the general observations that he makes:
  • There is clear progress in building collections of provincial/territorial government information
  • There is still a long way to go. There are jurisdictions lacking significant, formal efforts to collect and preserve this information
  • Every jurisdiction is pursuing its own strategy
  • Some significant materials are not collected (serials such as Gazettes and Hansards in particular)
  • Libraries have had little opportunity to address long-term preservation: "Legislative materials (hansards, bills, etc.) are generally under the control of the legislative offices, and laws (statutes and regulations) are under queen’s printers or justice departments. These are of course 'trustworthy' institutions, committed to preserving materials and their integrity, but we do not know whether they have or are building expertise in long-term preservation. Unlike libraries and archives, they are not intrinsically 'memory' institutions."
  • Most collections are fully available online.
  • Collections are catalogued, but bibliographic records are not being contributed to Amicus (Canada's national union catalogue)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:17 pm

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