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Our Programs

Licensing and Negotiations

Working with librarians, researchers, administrators, funders, and publishers, CRKN undertakes large scale licensing of scholarly content for academic institutions in order to expand research capacity in Canada. Currently, CRKN negotiates and manages over 50 licenses on behalf of its member institutions.

Preservation and Heritage Collections

CRKN provides access to 62 million pages of Canadian documentary heritage through the Canadiana and Héritage collections and preserves this heritage through the Canadiana Trustworthy Digital Repository (TDR), ensuring its integrity and accessibility as technologies change over time. CRKN also provides digitization services to our member and stakeholder community, providing best-quality digital reproductions of materials that adhere to metadata and technology standards.

Financial Oversight and Sustainability

CRKN’s professional finance staff, under the policy framework maintained by the Finance and Audit Committee (FAC), continue to administer over $126M in annual expenditures on behalf of member institutions. The FAC also reviews and supports CRKN’s internal risk management framework and budget development and monitoring process. This includes recommending budget and fee models which support CRKN’s ongoing sustainability, and projecting budget decisions out over a five-year horizon.

Meeting our Strategic Objectives

Transforming Scholarly Communications

As a community, CRKN members have demonstrated leadership and vision in transforming our scholarly communications systems to ensure sustainability and equitable access to scholarly content.  At CRKN, this transformative approach is embedded in our investments in open scholarship, negotiating and licensing with commercial vendors, and strengthening capacity in Canada for providing access to and preservation of heritage and cultural material. CRKN’s achievements over the past year demonstrate our ongoing commitment to expanding access to knowledge.


CRKN made significant strides this year towards our goal of increasing access to research. In particular, 2021-2022 marked the launch of two new read-and-publish agreements with…

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This year, the Content Strategy Committee undertook the development of a set of Assessment Guidelines for Open Access Publishers.

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Publication Data Report

As part of our commitment to making evidence-based decisions and developing data-driven strategies for our content licensing program, CRKN delivered to members, for the first time this year, a Multi-Publisher Publication Data Report…

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HCPTG Report Implementation

The Heritage Content Priorities Task Group (HCPTG) released its Final Report in January 2021.

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Expanding the Canadiana Collections

The Canadiana collections continued to be expanded throughout 2021-2022 with particular focus on minority language communities as well as working class publications.

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Increasing the Discoverability of the Canadiana Collections

CRKN continues to improve discoverability of the Canadiana collections. Staff completed training to participate in the Name Authority Cooperative Program (NACO) and have contributed several authority records to the Program for Cooperative Cataloguing.

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Digitization and Preservation Services

CRKN provides full lifecycle support for members and stakeholders wishing to digitize, host, or preserve their documentary heritage material.

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Ithaka S+R

In 2021, CRKN enlisted the services of Ithaka S+R to undertake an assessment of the market for our digitization, hosting and preservation services.

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Decolonizing Metadata

With the guidance of CRKN’s Preservation and Access Committee, CRKN staff are replacing inappropriate language in the metadata and resource descriptions introduced during legacy cataloguing practices.

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Platform Development

This year, CRKN’s platform team completed the separation of the Canadiana preservation and access platforms, allowing them to evolve independently in response to changing member needs.

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Trustworthy Digital Repository Audit

The Canadiana Trustworthy Digital Repository Audit Group (CTDR AG) formed in the spring of 2021 to conduct a review and audit of the Canadiana Trustworthy Digital Repository (TDR).

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Develop and Foster

CRKN’s most important work is done in collaboration with our partners. Whether serving alongside and on behalf of our members, forming new connections with stakeholder organizations, or collaborating toward specific goals, our partnerships are our most vital asset.


CRKN staff participated in the first phase of the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI).

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CRKN continues to work closely with our partners at Érudit, including CRKN representation on the Érudit Board and Coalition Publica Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

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CRKN continues to be an active supporter of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership.

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With CRKN’s support, the National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) Executive Committee embarked on an ambitious strategic planning process in 2021-2022.

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CRKN joined as a member of the National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) this year.

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DataCite Canada, ORCID-CA, CPIDAC…

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Staff met regularly with regional consortia this year, focusing on licensing activities at each consortium.

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Collaborative Advocacy

CRKN’s role as a voice for Canadian academic libraries offers us the chance to advocate on behalf of our community. Over the past year, we offered services, events, and tools that advanced growth for our members and for our organization.


After considering an application for the 2023 Canada Foundation for Innovation – Innovation Fund (CFI IF), the CRKN Board of Directors decided to focus on the next IF competition in 2025.

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In November 2021, CRKN issued a request for proposals for a Government Relations firm. Recognizing the need for increased external funding for CRKN’s heritage program, CRKN developed an advocacy agenda…

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The 2021 CRKN Conference was CRKN’s second all-virtual conference.

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In 2021, the Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award was given to Jonathan Bengtson, University Librarian at the University of Victoria.

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