Building and Sustaining Digital Collections: Models for Libraries and Museums

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Council on Library and Information Resources, 2001 - Archival materials - 25 pages
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In February 2001, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) convened a meeting to discuss how museums and libraries are building digital collections and what business models are available to sustain them. A group of museum and library senior executives met with business and legal experts, technologists, and funders to discuss the challenges that cultural institutions face when putting collections online and to identify some models for sustainability that support the core missions and do not conflict with the internal cultures of nonprofit entities. Speakers were asked to outline the elements of their business models, describe how they were developed, and predict their prospects for the future. Six approaches are outlined, ranging from two enterprises that have been providing access to scholarly journals online for several years to new initiatives that are based on collaborations among institutions. This report summarizes the information shared by presenters, followed by the discussions that ensued among participants. Discussion of the presentations focused on the following four topics: business models, scalability, organizational impact, and sustainability. On the basis of the day's discussions, the group was asked to propose an agenda for action. In addressing the short- and long-term needs of museums and libraries, participants identified four distinct areas that deserve the greatest attention: elements of a sound business plan, elements needed to sustain digital efforts at all types of institutions, inter-institutional issues, and funding. These recommendations and next steps appear at the end of the report. An appendix includes a list of participants. (Contains 21 references.) (AEF)

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Contents

Presentations of Business Models
3
Discussion
12
Recommendations and Next Steps
20
Copyright

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