CLIR Issues Number 47

CLIR Issues

Number 47 • September/October 2005


Print-Repository Effort Under Way at UCLA and Harvard

by John Kiplinger, Director of Production, JSTOR WORK IS PROCEEDING at the University of California (UC) and Harvard University on the creation of print journal repositories in partnership with JSTOR. The collaboration is the result of agreements made between JSTOR and the two schools in the past academic year. With staff now in place, each of the collaborating universities is assembling and validating backfiles of complete journal sets for inclusion in its repository. These collections of the print editions of JSTOR-digitized journals will help ensure the security and continued availability of print materials to the library community at a time when some libraries have begun to offer electronic-only local access. The UC paper repository is being developed at the Southern Regional Library Facility on the university’s Los Angeles campus. Drawing on journal volumes contributed from throughout the UC system, the collection is being assembled with page-by-page verification of the journal sets. Once this activity is finished, the repository will contain the complete backfiles of the 353 journal titles that JSTOR had released publicly as of October 2003. As additional content for these titles is released to JSTOR users through the annual “moving wall” advance, the corresponding paper editions will be added to the repository. This archive will be dim but not dark, i.e., it will be available for in-building use to UC affiliates if other access options are inadequate. In addition to the JSTOR repository, the UC system continues to build a number of other shared collections that serve as print repositories. The Harvard University repository is being assembled at the Harvard Depository from journal copies that JSTOR owns and used for digitization, supplemented by copies from the Harvard libraries. Containing the complete backfiles of the same 353 journals that are stored at UC, Harvard’s repository will likewise be updated as new print issues are incorporated into JSTOR. Harvard’s repository, like UC’s, will be housed in environmentally secure conditions. While UC will retain ownership of the volumes in its repository, JSTOR will own the volumes in the Harvard repository. Harvard’s repository is dark: It is intended only for JSTOR’s use, if and when it becomes necessary to undertake large-scale redigitization or retrospective-conversion projects. Both repositories are on track for collecting and validating the required volumes by the end of 2007. JSTOR’s collaboration to develop paper repositories is consistent with the recommendations of library-community leaders, including those who served on CLIR’s Task Force on the Artifact in Library Collections. As one component of JSTOR’s larger archiving strategy for its content, a network of paper repositories will ensure that the artifact will remain secure for the future. Because of the interest of the broader library community in this topic, JSTOR and UC are preparing a joint report that will describe their partnership and the challenges that they have overcome in developing the UC paper repository. Roger Schonfeld of Ithaka is completing the report, which will be available later this year.

The Strains of a Distant Sound

by Kathlin Smith Go to a public library, the Web, or a good bookstore and you’ll be able to find a copy of Upton Sinclair’s seminal 1906 work The Jungle, along with many other books by American authors from the early twentieth century. Gaining access to the Sousa Band’s recordings of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” or other important sound recordings from the early twentieth century, is far more difficult. A recent study conducted on behalf of the National Recording Preservation Board at the Library of Congress (LC) finds that most U.S. historical sound recordings have become virtually inaccessible—available neither commercially nor in the public domain. Results of the study, conducted by historian and media research executive Tim Brooks, with the assistance of Steven Smolian, have just been published in Survey of Reissues of U. S. Recordings. The report was commissioned by CLIR, and copublished by CLIR and LC. According to the report, the rights to 84 percent of historically significant recordings made in the United States between 1890 and 1964 are still protected by law. For most pre-1972 recordings, protection comes in the form of state, not federal, law until 2067. Because recordings cannot be copied and distributed without permission of their rights holders, the only legal way to obtain a CD of a pre-1972 recording is through a reissue. Yet the study found that rights holders have reissued—or allowed others to reissue—on CD only 14 percent of the pre-1965 recordings they control. Thus, most historically important sound recordings are available for hearing only through private collectors or at research libraries that collect our audio heritage and have the equipment to play obsolete recordings.

Study Draws on Broad Sampling

The study analyzed a sample of 1,500 published recordings commercially released in the United States between 1890 and 1964 in seven genres: jazz/ragtime, blues/gospel, country, ethnic, pop/rock, classical, and other. The study’s time span was broken into 15 five-year periods. To ensure that the study was restricted to recordings for which there is documented historic interest, Brooks and Smolian selected their sample from 20 modern discographical sources representing the seven genres. Two rounds of sampling were done. The aim of the first round was to estimate the proportion of all recordings for the study period that are protected. The purpose of the second round was to identify 1,500 protected recordings and to determine the proportion of such recordings that is currently available in reissue and the sources of those reissues.

Key Findings

Most recordings are still protected. The proportion of recordings that remain protected, which averages 84 percent, varies somewhat by period, but less so than might be expected. Even for the earliest period, 1890–1894, 39 percent of sampled recordings are still protected. In the late 1890s, the proportion rises to 62 percent, and in nearly every subsequent five-year period, it exceeds 80 percent. Classical and country recordings are the most heavily protected genres overall. Reissues. On average, rights owners have reissued in CD only 14 percent of the recordings they control. However, the number of such reissues varies considerably by age and genre. For example, rights owners have reissued no more than 10 percent of recordings made before World War II, whereas they have reissued 25 percent or more of their post-War recordings. Twenty percent of country music recordings issued between 1890 and 1964 are available commercially in the United States; for that same period, 10 percent of blues recordings and only 1 percent of ethnic recordings have been reissued for sale. Historical recordings are more accessible abroad. Foreign labels and small entities in the United States have made available a considerable number of historical recordings, despite laws that discourage unauthorized reissue activity in the United States. Copyright laws differ by country, and most countries have shorter terms of protection for rights owners than does the United States. So, while only 10 percent of historical blues recordings are available in the United States, 54 percent are available for sale legally in most other countries. Overall, entities other than the rights holder have exclusively reissued 22 percent of historic recordings.

Why 2067?

Why is it that books published before 1923 automatically enter the public domain but sound recordings do not? And why are sound recordings made before 1972 protected until 2067? Unlike books, sound recordings issued before 1972 were not protected by federal copyright law (certain pre-1972 sound recordings of foreign origin were excepted). Instead, they were protected by a patchwork of state laws—generally those regarding copyright, property rights, and unfair competition. The 1976 Copyright Act, which had broad implications for a range of intellectual property, initially exempted sound recordings from federal protection until 2047; this date was pushed back to 2067 with the passage of the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. Thus, whereas The Jungle, subject to federal copyright law, has joined other pre-1923 works in the public domain, the Sousa Band’s recordings of “Stars and Stripes Forever,” issued in the 1890s, will not enter the public domain for another 62 years. In coming months, CLIR will issue three more publications that explore in detail the laws, policies, and issues relating to recorded sound. The first publication, Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives, will be published in October. The second, an examination of copyright issues relating to unpublished sound, will be published early in 2006. The third, a survey of state laws relating to copyright of recorded sound, will appear later in 2006.

Incentive to Preserve through Access?

Concern about the preservation and future accessibility of our country’s recorded-sound heritage led the U.S. Congress to enact the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 and to create the National Recording Preservation Board under the aegis of LC. Congress directed the board to examine access to historical recordings, including the role of archives and the effects of copyright law on access to recordings. This study, in responding to that charge, challenges some policy assumptions—for example, that no one will want to preserve a work that is unprotected, and that prolonged periods of protection will give owners an incentive to keep a work commercially accessible. As this study shows, most pre-1965 recordings have not been reissued for public sale by their owners and are accessible only to those who visit the institutions that archive historical recordings or to individuals with access to private collections. Survey of Reissues of U.S. Recordings is available at Print copies are available for ordering through CLIR’s Web site, for $20 per copy plus shipping and handling.

Frye Leadership Institute Slated for June

THE FRYE LEADERSHIP Institute is accepting applications for its 2006 session, which will be held June 4–16 at Emory University. The Institute is an intensive, two-week residential program in which participants study and analyze the leadership challenges stemming from the changing context of higher education. Participants will be selected competitively from among nominees and applicants who have a commitment to, and talent for, leadership within higher education. To apply for the Institute, an individual must first be nominated by a senior institutional officer. Nominations must be submitted by November 1, 2005, using a nomination form available at CLIR will notify the nominees and encourage them to apply. Applications must be postmarked by December 1. The Institute is supported by a grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and is sponsored by CLIR, EDUCAUSE, and Emory University. The Institute can be contacted by e-mail at

CLIR Accepting Applications for Mellon Dissertation Fellowships

CLIR IS ACCEPTING applications for the Mellon Fellowship Program for Dissertation Research in the Humanities in Original Sources. CLIR will award about 10 fellowships to support dissertation research in original source material for periods of 8 to 12 months. Each fellowship will carry a stipend of up to $20,000. Applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral program in a graduate school in the United States. They must have completed all doctoral requirements except their dissertation research and be ready to start that research between June 1 and September 1, 2006. Their dissertation proposals must have been accepted at least six months before the starting date of the fellowship. More information on eligibility and application forms is available at Information may also be requested from CLIR by phone at (202) 939-4750, or by mail at CLIR. Applications must be postmarked by November 15, 2005 (November 1, 2005, if mailed from outside the United States). Fellowship recipients’ names will be announced by April 1, 2006.

Register Now for October 28 Forum on Managing Digital Assets

OCTOBER 14 IS the registration deadline for “Managing Digital Assets: Strategic Issues for Research Libraries,” a one-day forum sponsored by the Association for Research Libraries, the Coalition for Networked Information, CLIR, and the Digital Library Federation. The forum will focus on issues of concern to senior decision makers in research institutions, including provosts and vice presidents for research and academic affairs, directors of research libraries and senior library managers, chief information officers, and other information technology managers. It will take place October 28, 2005, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Forum presenters and participants will explore the strategic implications of repositioning research libraries to manage digital assets for their institutions. Donald J. Waters, program officer for scholarly communication at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will open the forum with an overview of issues and developments surrounding digital asset management. Three program sessions will then engage the audience in discussions of institutional policies, emerging federal policies for asset management, and the tools available to take on these roles. A full schedule is available at Register online at

Bob Martin and Paul Courant Join CLIR

CLIR WELCOMES TWO prominent scholars to its staff for 2005–2006. Paul Courant, former provost of the University of Michigan, has been appointed Visiting Scholar. Robert S. Martin, former director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), has been named CLIR Distinguished Fellow. “I’m delighted that Bob Martin and Paul Courant have accepted our invitation to work with CLIR,” said CLIR President Nancy Davenport. “We welcome the contributions and leadership that each can bring to the strategic areas in which CLIR will be active—namely, place as library, scholarly communications, preservation and stewardship, and leadership development.” Courant photoIn addition to serving as provost at the University of Michigan until May 2005, Paul Courant was executive vice president for academic affairs, professor of economics and public policy, and faculty associate in the university’s Institute for Social Research. He has also served as a senior staff economist on the Council of Economic Advisers. He is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies’ Commission on the Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. Courant’s work at CLIR will focus on economic and organizational problems and on opportunities that face academic libraries and scholarly publication in the digital age.     Martin photoRobert S. Martin is a librarian, archivist, administrator, and educator. He is the Lillian Bradshaw Distinguished Professor of Library Science in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University. In 2001, President Bush appointed him to serve as director of the IMLS. Dr. Martin also served as acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from October 2001, through January 2002. “Speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, I am excited by the new affiliations that we have created at CLIR with Bob Martin and Paul Courant,” said CLIR Board Chairman Charles Phelps. “Bob Martin’s work at IMLS deserves the high praise it has received from the library and the museum communities. I look forward to working with him. I have had the good fortune to know and work with Paul Courant for several years as a result of our overlapping backgrounds in economics and public policy and, most recently, our shared ‘occupation’ of provost at a major research university. I am delighted that Paul will be joining CLIR as well.” During their yearlong affiliations with CLIR, Paul Courant will work primarily from Ann Arbor and Bob Martin will work from Denton.

Boat-Library Program in Bangladesh Receives Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award

SHIDHULAI SWANIRVAR SANGSTHA (SSS), a nongovernmental organization in Bangladesh, has been named the recipient of the 2005 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award. SSS was recognized for an innovative program that uses indigenous boats to provide free public access to computers and the Internet to residents in impoverished remote communities. The award was announced August 16 at the annual International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ World Library and Information Congress in Oslo. boat photo Bangladesh has one of the highest population densities of any nation in the world. Many of its people are forced to live on and cultivate flood-prone land. SSS educates farmers about effective agricultural practices as well as other issues affecting their livelihood and health. During the annual monsoon season, which lasts three to four months, the boat libraries, schools, and mobile Internet units dock at riverside communities. The SSS-supported boats are equipped with computers, printers, mobile phones, multimedia projectors, books, and other information resources. The project area has no electricity; the computers that provide Internet access are run by solar energy and fuel-efficient generators. Females account for half the population of Bangladesh, but religious and cultural traditions prevent them from traveling far from home to receive education or training. Through the boat program, girls can attend school without leaving their villages. Locally developed Web tutorials, recorded documentaries, and other electronic resources offered on the boats are helping these girls become literate, contributing members of their communities. In 2004, the SSS boat program reached about 86,500 families. CLIR manages the US $1 million Access to Learning Award, which is given annually to public libraries or similar organizations outside the United States for innovative programs providing free public access to computer technology, particularly for underserved communities. Past award recipients include libraries and organizations in Argentina, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Guatemala, and South Africa. CLIR is soliciting applications for 2006. For information, visit