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Shared Print Archive Network (SPAN)

The Council of Prairie and Pacific Libraries' Shared Print Archive Network (SPAN) is a distributed retrospective print repository program. SPAN's main goals are to provide access to shared print archives, create opportunities for the reallocation of library space, and preserve the print record for its members in a cost-effective way. Rather than thinking about the project in terms of preserving the "last copy," this partnership emphasizes the role of the archived print as part of an optimal copy network that includes other print archiving initiatives.

21 of COPPUL's 22 full members have agreed to consolidate and validate print journal backfiles at major library storage facilities and selected campus locations. Selection of titles for inclusion in SPAN will be made using a risk management framework: journals will be categorized as Low- , Moderate- , or Higher-Risk based on their availability electronically, rarity, and relevance to the region (Western Canada).

The COPPUL Shared Print Archive Network Member Agreement (April 2012) outlines the governance of the initiative, as well as the contributions and responsibilities expected from each participating library.

Management Committee

List of participating libraries:

  • Athabasca University
  • Brandon University
  • Concordia University of Edmonton
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • MacEwan University
  • Mount Royal University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Thompson Rivers University
  • Trinity Western University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of the Fraser Valley
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Winnipeg
  • Vancouver Island University


Phase Five

Phase 5 Overview

Phase 5 Documentation for Archive Holders (20200918)


  • 18 Sep 2020: Documentation for Archive Holders is available.
  • 18 Sep 2020: COPPUL issues allocation lists to potential Archive Holders.
  • 01 Dec 2020: Archive Holders have confirmed their commitments. Archive Holders can start transferring materials to secure, non-public storage and updating their bibliographic records.
  • 15 Dec 2020: COPPUL reports the confirmed commitments to CRL.
  • 01 Mar 2021: Archive Holders have completed their holdings disclosure and local record updating.
  • 15 Mar 2021: COPPUL produces the final report.

Phase Four

Phase 4 final report (20200424)

Phase 4 documentation for Archive Builders (20181106) 

Phase 4 archived and withdrawn items reporting form

Phase Three

Overview of SPAN Phase 3, 2014-2015

Phase 3 documentation for Archive Builders

Call for Missing Volumes Procedures

Phase Two:

Overview of SPAN Phase 2, 2013-2014

Phase 2 Documentation for Archive Holders

Phase 2 Documentation for Archive Supporters

Phase One:

Overview of SPAN Phase 1, 2012-2013

Phase 1 Documentation for Archive Holders

Phase 1 Documentation for Archive Supporters

SPAN Reports:

Publications and Presentations about SPAN:

For more information, contact:

Doug Brigham
SPAN Coordinator