1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 10, 2018 3:34 PM by Research Services at the National Archives

    How many copies of a literary journal should be archived?


      I work for a literary journal and am wondering what is the optimal number of copies of the journal to be kept for archival purposes.

        • Re: How many copies of a literary journal should be archived?
          Research Services at the National Archives Tracker

          Dear Ms. Lindblom,


          Thank you for using History Hub. The following comes from Jeffery Hartley, NARA's librarian:


          It's really a matter of what will work for the organization, and its requirements - space or other considerations may determine how many copies can be kept.


          Most of what I found in the archival literature indicates that published materials belong in a library, not an archives.  That said, they then go on to say that if the volume was important to the individual, it can stay with the collection.  Similarly for a publisher's archives.  The best statement that I found is this from Laura Millar's "The Story behind the Book: Preserving Authors' and Publishers' Archives" (2009):


          "Technically, a published book belongs in a library, not in an archival repository. For a publisher, however, the book is the fruit of the company's editorial, design, and production efforts: it is the reason the company exists and the means by which the company stays in business. The final product is an essential piece of the company's history.


          As a rule, all publishers and authors should put aside at least two copies of all their publications, including new editions but not necessarily new print runs of unchanged editions. This practice seems obvious, but it is remarkable how many publishers (and authors!) cannot lay their hands on a copy of their own works....it may also be useful to keep two copies in an in-house reference library, so that anyone can make use of the books without worrying about losing the last copy."

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