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Krista Liller on the Archiving of Academic Journals

Over the past year, there have been some significant changes to what used to be called the Journals Room in the east wing of the library. We sat down with one of our librarians, Krista Liller, to learn more about the archiving process and how the journals can be accessed moving forward. Krista received her Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Texas and her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Houston. She gave us some insight into the process of archiving the journals and making sure they are available to patrons and researchers.

For those who may not know, what is a journal and what was the journals room?

The journals room was where we housed all the academic journals. A journal is an academic periodical where scholars submit their research or papers that they have written. Students usually use them for research. 

How does the library acquire these journals?

We subscribe to many of them. They’re sent out three or four times a year. Most of them were donated or came with a collection.

There have been some significant changes to the Journals room recently. Can you talk us through that?

Last May, I started working with our intern, Hannah Allen, to take all the journals out of the journals room, archive them, and then store them in an off-site storage facility. We keep the most current copies of the Journals we subscribe to. It allows us to clear up space in the library. Most of our journals are now available online through JSTOR, Galaxy, and DTL2.

There were a lot of journals. Was there a method for archiving them?

There was. My library science degree was more focused on archiving, so I knew that they needed to be stored in a certain way to preserve them and allow us to access them quickly. We used archival boxes and archival paper to pack around them. We ended up with 350 boxes, so we needed to keep them all at a manageable weight. They were all cataloged and added to a spreadsheet. Then I linked the journals spreadsheet to the master spreadsheet, so we can access them quickly.

Anytime you archive anything, there are methods to ensure nothing decays or gets damaged in any way. You want to make sure they stay safe.

How would someone access those journals now if they need them?

They would access them digitally. They would need to be in the library using our Wi-Fi. They can search for them on JSTOR, Galaxy, or DTL2. We can pull the physical copy if they cannot digitally access the journal they need. The turnaround may be a couple of days because they are stored off-site.

Can the master list be accessed away from the library?

Yes, they can see a list of every journal we have in the master list on our website. But to access the full digital journal, they would need to be on our Wi-Fi.

Why is it beneficial to have the journals digitally accessible instead of keeping the physical copies in the library?

Most libraries are transitioning to digital journals because they are more accessible and use less space. So, before we moved them, our journals filled every shelf in the journals room. Now we have a lot more shelf space, which has allowed us to use that room as staging for books that will go in the library at Yarnton Manor in Oxford. We will also receive a private collection soon, and we now have the space for that.