A central role of Australia’s national, state and territory libraries is to collect, describe, preserve, store and make available the nation’s publications. Legal deposit legislation mandates libraries to collect the entire publications of individual jurisdictions. For many years libraries have built collections of print that provide the documentary history of 19th and 20th century Australia – the nation, the states and the territories.
In the late 20th century, the arrival of digital media and the internet has been and remains the great disrupter. For libraries, it means that publications are no longer just print. The print formats – books, journals, newspapers, magazines, maps, sheet music – are now available in digital. New digital-only formats proliferate – websites, social media, and blogs.
A great 21st century challenge for libraries is how to collect, describe, preserve, store and make available these digital publications, and so provide the digital documentary history of Australia for the future.
This paper will chart the evolving journey and collaboration of Australia’s nine national, state and territory libraries in addressing this great 21st century challenge. How? - through the National edeposit network (NED) which is planned to be `live’ by the end of 2018.
NED comprises people, governance and policies and technological infrastructure to collect, preserve and provide access to Australia’s digital publications.
It is a joint digital platform that streamlines deposit for Australia’s publishing industry and improves access for Australian people.
This paper will reflect on the work taken to build NED as a partnership and how the nine libraries grappled with defining the benefits and value proposition for NED and resolved concerns regarding ownership, transfer of metadata, needs of stakeholders, branding and identity, and cost benefits.