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6. Some Repository Models Abroad


6.1 National Repository Library of Finland

The National Repository Library (NRL) of Finland is an example of a traditional “fallback” library that serves a nation’s libraries. Funded by the Finnish government, the library serves the country’s higher education community by preserving for study the comprehensive published output of Finland. It was founded in 1989 as a repository to be shared by the libraries of Finland. Materials are received as transfers from other Finnish libraries and become the property of the NRL.

The basic functions of the NRL are to receive and store published materials transferred from other libraries and make them available for use to the country’s academic libraries, public libraries, and the special libraries. It is a “second-copy” repository; that is, it retains copies of materials for which at least one other copy is available elsewhere in a participating Finnish library. It thus complements the holdings of the network of Finnish libraries. The collection includes monographs and periodicals, as well as series in all languages and in all fields: fiction and nonfiction, dissertations, and books in Braille.

The contributing library selects the books to be transferred to the NRL. The repository acts as a central clearinghouse for duplicates, turning back copies of materials already held. Duplicate monographs and periodicals are sent to other libraries in Finland, to neighboring countries, and to developing countries.

The facility also lends and delivers documents from its corpus to libraries and information services elsewhere in Scandinavia and Europe. Libraries can order material online or by e-mail, fax, mail, telephone, or through Ariel document delivery. There is no charge for ILL and DD.

The library has reading rooms, duplication and reformatting services, a preservation studio, and cataloging and bibliographic services.


The NRL was created by and operates as an independent library under the auspices of the Finnish Ministry of Education. Its activities are directed by a board whose members are appointed by the Ministry of Education. The library was established in the Law Act of 1078/88 and Decree of 94/92.

6.2 CARM Centre, Australia

The most fully realized model of a cooperatively funded interinstitutional repository is Australia’s Cooperative Action by Victorian Academic Libraries (CAVAL). The CAVAL Archival and Research Materials (CARM) Centre preserves archival and research material for Victorian universities and the State Library of Victoria. It contains last copies of valuable but low-usage archival and research materials to ensure that copies of “tertiary-level” materials that are in good condition are available for future research. It also provides reformatting, ILL, and DD services for the consortium libraries. CAVAL fosters the collective ownership of materials stored at CARM.

The consortium also supports a wide range of professional activities for the member libraries. Its mission is to “enhance the effectiveness of the educational and research activities of its member institutions.” Initiatives include the Victorian Kinetica User Group, Reference Interest Group, digitizing services, and a combined collections catalog.

The CARM Centre was completed in June 1996 and opened in February 1997. It is located in Bundoora in the LaTrobe University Research and Development Park. (LaTrobe University provided the site and was a capital contributor to completing the facility.) CAVAL’s other members are the libraries of Melbourne, Monash, Ballarat, Swinburne, and Deakin Universities, the Victoria University of Technology, and the State Library of Victoria.

Impetus for creation of the CARM Centre was provided by a shortage of space at the state library and a number of the libraries at the Victorian Universities. The national government has put a great deal of pressure on Australian universities to economize and rationalize their growing investment in storage for library collections.

The center will be constructed in three stages. Stage 1 holds the CAVAL offices, workrooms, and training, preservation, and seminar facilities. This stage also includes a storage facility that will house close to one million volumes of archive and research material. When all additional stages of the facility are completed, the CARM Centre will hold about two million volumes.

Monographs are available for loan to libraries and institutions. Periodicals must generally be used on-site. Document delivery is provided for articles. The CARM Centre has on-site processing facilities, a reading room, and a preservation studio.

The centre houses a number of low-use collections owned by individual members. These include two major Australian heritage collections: the State Library of Victoria Manuscript Collection and the VICLINK Fiction Collection, which comprises 50,000 volumes. The center also holds the University of Melbourne’s collection of theses written prior to 1974, as well as foreign government reports, journals, and dissertations.

Ownership of some collections placed at the CARM Centre is ceded to the consortium. The center has an active program to reduce redundancy among its member collections through single-copy preservation. The first copy of any item received by the centre is designated as the “last copy.” An item thus designated can be replaced only by a copy of the same edition that is in better condition according to physical standards set for the repository.25

CARM does not require that ownership of all items held at the repository be ceded to the consortium. If a library is prohibited from ceding ownership by statute or by terms of endowment or donation, it may place volumes on long-term loan.

CAVAL recently joined with Australia’s two other major university libraries, Flinders University Library and the Adelaide University Library, under the auspices of Consortium of Australian University Libraries, to create a national-level organization Research Resources Australia (RRA). RRA has been charged by the Australian university community to develop guidelines for collection material development, including retention of last-copy materials; to rationalize the holdings of CAVAL and Adelaide and Flinders repositories; to explore the possibility of the creation of additional storage facilities; and to focus on the national role of the repositories.

RRA will also develop expertise in and storage facilities for materials that are in unwieldy formats, such as maps, films, and bound newspapers; review courier mechanisms between repositories and to end-user institutions; and become a focus for relationships among international repositories with Australia and within Australia.

Governance and Funding Model

CAVAL is a not-for-profit corporation owned by the Victorian vice-chancellors. Funds for constructing the CARM Centre were contributed by each of the participating libraries, and a percentage of its space is apportioned to them roughly according to their capital contribution. Use of that space is provided to the capital contributors free of charge. Each capital contributor may house materials in the consortium or nonconsortium collections up to their allocation of shelved volumes. Nonconsortium collections must be removed if the consortium collection requires the space occupied. Items deposited in excess of the “notional” allocation for shelved materials are charged on a per-volume at a rate set by the CAVAL board. The notional space of capital contributors will not be preserved if other contributors lodge materials at a charge. Noncapital contributors who are CAVAL members get no notional space or shelving, but they may contribute to consortium collection at a per-volume rate set by the CAVAL board.

Loan fees are charged for non-capital contributors and non-CAVAL members.


25 The operations and terms of service of the CARM Centre are stated in the Collections and Services Policy Manual, which is available at:


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