About LIPA

LIPA is the acronym for the Legal Information Preservation Alliance, a loosely organized group of law libraries focused on the preservation of legal information in all formats, including print and born digital. LIPA's mission statement reads: The mission of the Legal Information Preservation Alliance [LIPA] is to provide the leadership, the necessary organizational framework, and the professional
commitment necessary to preserve vital paper and electronic legal information by defining objectives, developing and/or adopting appropriate standards and models, creating networks, and fostering financial and political support for long term stability. A web site providing background on the organization is hosted on AALLNET at http://www.aallnet.org/lipa/

One project of special interest to LIPA is the preservation of a minimum number of paper copies of all primary U.S. and Canadian legal materials. Its concern is that, with many law libraries discarding hardcopy in favor of retention on film or in digital format, the law library world as a whole could inadvertently be discarding all print copies for some titles. The plan LIPA has devised to address the print-preservation problem is to recruit and identify a core group of "Preservation Libraries” willing to preserve specific titles utilizing a “distributed-preservation” approach. 

An essential ingredient to the success of such a distributed-responsibility plan is a central, universally accessible, database to track which libraries are saving which titles. As it happened LLMC was developing a somewhat comparable database to track its own digital scanning program. It offered to expand this database to permit LIPA to “piggyback” its print preservation effort on the emerging LLMC platform. The first results of this collaborative effort between the two organizations are beginning to be displayed on this web site. 

Interested parties are invited to access our holdings table for the Alabama Supreme Court Reports. As will be seen with the Alabama reports example, Columbia Law Library, one of the leading LIPA Preservation Libraries, already has begun loading its holdings for this title in the yellow field. As this example shows, Columbia has hardcopy for each volume of this title and is pledged to archive this title indefinitely. However, it uses the “I” symbol in a number of the volume boxes to indicate that it would welcome better-condition copies for those volumes. Moreover, LLMC itself shows by the gaps in its “Online” holdings column that it still needs scannable copy for Vols. 1–80 of this title. Libraries planning to discard their print copies of this title are urged to consider becoming part of this preservation program by offering their discard volumes to either LLMC or Columbia.

The final responsibility for defining the conditions for fulfilling the LIPA print preservation program rests with LIPA. However, LLMC is proud to be able to collaborate in the LIPA effort and will continue to perform its record-keeping role for as long as needed.
Lipa Participating Libraries
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