The Northern Ireland Publication Resource
Preserving for Posterity
Unlike the rest of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has no National Library, so no local institution is legally responsible for collecting all material published in the Province. Until recently there has been no reliable way of finding out what is being published in Northern Ireland, who is collecting it, and where it is held.
With funding from the British Library, the Library and Information Services Council for Northern Ireland set out to redress the situation and officially launched the Northern Ireland Publications Resource (NIPR) in October 2000. After a successful two year pilot scheme, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure is now providing further funding for the administration of the scheme.
All books, journals, pamphlets and reports published in Northern Ireland since 2000 are now systematically collected, catalogued and preserved in the Northern Ireland Publications Resource.
Bibliographic information about the collection is available in the online book catalogue. Belfast Central Library and the Linen Hall Library, Belfast are the two lead partners in NIPR and dedicated repositories have been set up within these institutions to house the collection.
Access to the NIPR Collection is initially through its web-based catalogue, which can be browsed over the internet. You may consult material in the NIPR collection personally by asking at the counter in either the Linen Hall Library or Belfast Central Library (depending on location given in the catalogue).
If you cannot visit the NIPR repository in person, you can request NIPR material through Inter Library Loan at any public library in the Province.
Because NIPR does not have legal deposit status it relies heavily on the generosity of the local publishing community. Contact has been made with almost 500 authors and publishers asking them to donate material.
Two copies of each item published are requested, one to be preserved as an archive copy, the other to be made available for public consultation, and to date the collection has acquired over 4,000 items. Both Belfast Central Library and the Linen Hall Library continue to operate their own acquisitions policy with regard to local publications, the copies donated to NIPR are preserved separately from the libraries’ own collections.
In return for donating their material, NIPR helps publishers market their work by advertising the publications internationally through its online catalogue. NIPR also guarantees that all material deposited into its care will be preserved for posterity. By donating their publications, local publishers are helping to build a collection that is already evolving into an invaluable archive of Northern Ireland’s unique literary heritage.