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History of LIPA


LIPA was founded in 2003 during a conference on Preserving Legal Information for the 21st Century: Toward a National Agenda, sponsored by the Georgetown University Law Library and the American Association of Law Libraries. Conference participants established LIPA as an organization that would provide a framework for creating solutions to the problems of preserving legal information.

LIPA incorporated in 2007 and received 501(c)(3) status in 2009.

In 2005 LIPA commissioned a white paper, Preserving Legal Materials In Digital Formats; the first Strategic Plan was drafted in 2006. Those two documents, as well as subsequent strategic plans, provide a framework for the development of new projects and services for member libraries.

In 2007 the Georgetown University Law Library and the State Law Libraries of Maryland and Virginia began a pilot project under the auspices of LIPA to archive born-digital legal materials. At the end of a successful two-year pilot, the project became a permanent program known as the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group. The Chesapeake libraries contribute items to the Legal Information Archive, a collaborative digital archive established by LIPA in 2010.

In 2010 LIPA also launched the Law Review Preservation Program, a long-term archiving solution for law reviews published online. In partnership with Berkeley Electronic Press, law reviews published on bepress’s Digital Commons platform are eligible to be automatically archived in CLOCKSS, an international dark archive for long-term preservation.

In 2011 LIPA entered an agreement with Archive-It, a web archiving service that allows LIPA member subscribers to harvest and preserve collections of digital content and to create digital archives. Also in 2011 LIPA became a member of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, a collaborative effort of the Library of Congress to preserve a distributed national collection for the benefit of present and future generations.

LIPA’s major print preservation project is PALMPrint, Preserving America’s Legal Materials in Print. PALMPrint is a jointly-owned, shared print collection of U.S. federal and state primary legal materials. The collection is housed in a climate-controlled, purpose-built facility and is accessible to subscribers. This is a collaborative project with NELLCO, an international consortium of law libraries.

In 2014 the LIPA Board of Directors adopted a new mission statement and strategic directions to guide the creation of new initiatives.

In 2015 LIPA launched the AskLIPA campaign to emphasize ways in which LIPA can help libraries connect with resources and colleagues to answer their preservation questions.

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