Newspaper Strategy

Background

  • The Canadian Newspaper Strategy was developed in the current environment of high interest in newspapers as a research tool. Other drivers behind the strategy include:
    • Risk of loss due to both business closures and format fragility
    • Changing landscape of digital news
  • Concern regarding news content is high in the library and archival community. There is interest in collecting retrospective and current content in trusted repositories, in access, and in long-term preservation.

Considerations

  • Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has a strong retrospective collection of selected Canadian dailies, community newspapers, Indigenous and ethno-cultural papers in print and microfilm; print newspapers do not fall under Legal Deposit (LD) and have not been actively collected, aside from first and last copies, since 2007. LAC purchases microfilm, when it is available, to fill collection gaps. Electronic newspapers fall under LD and have been collected sporadically; this will become more routine once Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) is implemented.
  • The Newspaper Strategy focusses primarily on publications; stakeholder response suggests it should be broadened to include news archives.
  • A newspaper summit is under consideration at LAC. A decision whether to hold a summit, and its format, will be made in the third quarter of 2019-2020.
  • No resource(s) at LAC are dedicated specifically to this file.
  • If decided that newspapers become an area of emphasis, the file will need at least one Full time equivalent (FTE).
  • Digital ingest, access and preservation standards vary amongst multiple stakeholders and communities nationwide.
  • There are many community-based projects underway with their own access points; LAC is working with Ontario Library Association, Archives of Ontario and others, together with TorStar and PostMedia, to provide access to 36 shuttered Ontario community newspapers.

Key Public Messages

  • The LAC Newspaper Strategy focuses on:
    • developing a framework with a steering committee of national stakeholders, based on shared responsibility
    • historical newspapers and current news content

SME:

Alison Bullock, Director, Acquisitions, Published Heritage Branch
Email: alison.bullock@canada.ca
Tel: 613-292-4871

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