CICnet e-journal archive

The preservation of electronic journals is also a concern for libraries. Wiggins notes the irony of the demise of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s CICNet Journal Archive due to lack of funding. For six years, from 1991-1997, the group attempted to archive electronic journals. The archive has vanished. “Ironic, indeed, to lose not a mere collection but an archive whose purpose was to prevent loss of electronic content. How many pioneering e-journals, many of them hosted on now defunct Gopher servers, were lost for eternity?” [1]

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A Digital Archive Disappears

In 1991, the network organization of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (Big Ten schools plus the University of Chicago) saw a need to preserve electronic serials and launched the CICNet Journal Archive. This ambitious digital preservation project sought to capture and archive the content of numerous nascent electronic journals. The project attracted considerable attention among authors and editors of e-journals. Writing in PACS Review in 1996, Bonnie MacEwan and Mira Geffner said, “Our long-term goal is to create a significant collection of electronic journals on the Internet, which scholars, libraries, and individuals around the world can access via the Web.” ( info.lib.uh.edu/pr/v7/n4/mace7n4.html). Alas, essential funding never appeared, and CICNet itself ceased operations in 1997. The CICNet Journal Archive vanished with it. Ironic, indeed, to lose not a mere collection but an archive whose purpose was to prevent loss of electronic content. How many pioneering e-journals, many of them hosted on now-defunct Gopher servers, were lost for eternity? [2]



[1] Warner, Dorothy and Buschman, John. Studying the Reader/Researcher Without the Artifact: Digital Problems in the Future History of Books. Library Philosophy and Practice Vol. 7, No. 1 (Fall 2004) http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~mbolin/warner-buschman.htm

[2] Richard Wiggins: Digital Preservation: Paradox & Promise, Library Journal, 06/18/2001 http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA90054.html

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