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Contributing to the Archives

WEST is a distributed archive, meaning that there is no central facility that houses the WEST archives. Archived volumes are held at a number of member libraries and library storage facilities across the Western portion of the USA. There are many ways members can get involved and contribute to the archives, from retaining materials on behalf of the program to contributing volumes to complete another member’s collections.

Serve as a WEST archiver

Archive Holders and Archive Builders are WEST member institutions that perform archiving activities, retain materials on behalf of the program, and make those materials accessible via existing resource sharing channels. Any WEST member institution may elect to become an Archive Holder of Bronze materials. Bronze materials do not require any physical or content validation, and may be stored in open stacks.

WEST members with secure, environmentally-controlled closed-stacks storage facilities may become Archive Builders, after review with the WEST project team and approval from WEST governance. Archive Builders retain Bronze, Silver, and/or Gold materials, ensuring that appropriate validation and gap filling activities are undertaken and materials are shelved in facilities appropriate for their Archive Type. Archive Builders receive a subsidy for the work they undertake on behalf of WEST. For detailed information about the WEST archives and the work that goes into building the collection, see the Archive Types and the Archiving Standards and Requirements pages.

Nominate titles to archive

Any WEST member may nominate titles that they can commit to retain on behalf of WEST. Nominations are reviewed by the Operations and Collections Council, and, once accepted, are disclosed by the nominating institution to OCLC. To nominate titles, review the WEST Title Nominations Collections Policy, complete the WEST Title Nominations Template, and email to the WEST project team.

Help complete the archives

WEST members, whether they are retaining titles or not, have other opportunities to contribute to and strengthen the collection. Archive Builders issue periodic ‘calls for holdings’ where they request volumes from members to fill gaps and complete backfiles for Silver and Gold journals they are archiving. All WEST members are encouraged to respond to these calls and to contribute volumes where they are able. By drawing on the collections of the wider WEST membership, Archive Builders are able to compile complete runs of journals in a single location, streamlining access and maintenance responsibilities. Please review the Answering a Call for Holdings FAQ for more information about the process from the contributor’s side, and see this brief video overview of the process: Answering a Call for Holdings Video.

In addition to answering Builders’ calls for holdings, any member may use the Journal Retention & Needs Listing (JRNL) tool at any time to identify gaps in shared print holdings across the country and make offers to supply the necessary volumes. While we ask that you give priority to WEST archivers when offering volumes, you may offer them to any archiving institution in any of the Rosemont Shared Print Alliance partner programs.