CRKN and Canadiana.org Merge as Combined Organization
The merger represents an integrated national strategy aimed at fostering an agile and sustainable research infrastructure for digital heritage content
April 3, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario — The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and Canadiana.org (Canadiana) are pleased to announce a merger of the two organizations, which will now be under the leadership of CRKN. The merged organization began combined operations on April 1, 2018. As a merged organization, CRKN will continue its core licensing activities for scholarly journal content, while expanding support for the digitization, access and preservation of Canadian heritage content through the services of Canadiana.
“This a milestone in our respective organizations’ histories and a significant step in Canada as we move forward together to leverage the opportunities of the emergent global, networked research environment,” says Jonathan Bengtson, President, Canadiana. “This merger will expand and accelerate Canadiana services and programs that ensure the long-term viability of digitized documentary heritage for all Canadians and generations to come,” continued Mr. Bengtson.
“Academic libraries in Canada have a long history of working together to the benefit of their communities. Merging CRKN and Canadiana is yet another example of the strength of this community in both leveraging and understanding the complexity of the digital landscape and seeking opportunities to facilitate alignment,” says Alan Shepard, Chair of the CRKN Board of Directors. “Expanding CRKN’s portfolio through this merger builds on the organization’s strength and ability to collaboratively, and collectively, make significant and meaningful contributions to scholarship in Canada,” continued Dr. Shepard.
Merger discussions began in June, 2016 in recognition of a changed research environment and with the goal of building on the strengths and complementary activities of two of Canada’s most impactful content-based national organizations serving Canada’s digital research infrastructure. This merger allows CRKN and Canadiana to cohesively pursue a united and coordinated strategy that is envisioned and directed by member libraries, and works in partnership with research and memory institutions, funders, and other partners, broadening and expanding Canada’s vision and impact in digital scholarship.
- CRKN has worked with Canadiana since 2006 to provide subscription access to the Early Canadiana Online (ECO) collection, which is a large collection of full-text historical content about Canada, including books, magazines and government documents.
- Currently, 54 CRKN members have subscriptions to Canadiana Online or the ECO collection. CRKN members provide the bulk of Canadiana's funding through subscriptions and membership fees.
- In 2013, CRKN and Canadiana collaborated on the Heritage Project, a 10-year initiative to digitize and make accessible online some of Canada’s most popular archival collections encompassing roughly 40 million pages of primary-source documents. This project was funded by 46 CRKN members.
- The merger will leverage Canadiana’s certification as a Trustworthy Digital Repository (TDR) to support members in their own institutional digitization work.
- As part of the merger, CRKN will propose By-Law changes at its next Annual General Meeting that would allow Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) and Toronto Public Library (TPL) to qualify as CRKN institutional members.
- The merger allows CRKN and Canadiana coordinated representation as part of the Canadian National Heritage Digitization Strategy, which outlines a way for Canadian memory institutions to work together to digitize, preserve and make accessible Canada’s documentary heritage.
- The merger allows for CRKN and Canadiana to pursue activities that further the preservation, digitization, access, and discoverability of content, as well as goals in the development of open access to Canadian content.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Research Knowledge Network
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network is a partnership of Canadian universities, dedicated to expanding digital content for the academic research enterprise in Canada. Through the coordinated leadership of librarians, researchers, and administrators, CRKN undertakes large-scale content acquisition and licensing initiatives, currently amounting to almost $125 million annually, in order to build knowledge infrastructure and research capacity in 75 of Canada’s universities.
Canadiana.org is a coalition of memory institutions dedicated to providing broad access to Canada's documentary heritage. Through its membership alliance, Canadian libraries share tools and capacity, partner on open-source projects, and spearhead digital preservation in Canada.