ICON began taking shape at the Symposium on Access
to and Preservation of Global Newspapers, held May 27-28, 1997,
in Washington, DC. The symposium was sponsored by the Association
of Research Libraries, the Center
for Research Libraries, the Commission
on Preservation and Access/Council on Library Resources, and
the Library of Congress.
These organizations convened to discuss global newspapers and, most
importantly, to design a course of action that would guarantee acquisition
of and access to global newspapers.
Out of this effort, a working group was established to develop
and disseminate an action plan that describes how the research library
community would increase access to global newspapers. The working
group was organized in February of 1998 with funding from the Andrew
W. Mellon Foundation and administrative and organizational support
from the Center for Research Libraries. The working group included
10 initial participants representing 9 institutions: The British
Library, Center for Research Libraries, Harvard University, Library
of Congress, New York Public Library, New York State Library, University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Southern California,
and University of Washington. For the final discussion, representatives
were brought in from 3 additional institutions: National Library
of Canada, University of Florida, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The working group held 3 meetings in 1998 and prepared a "Proposal
to Establish the International Coalition on Newspapers"
(pdf) in January of 1999. With the addition of OCLC, enlisted as
a formal partner to explore the creation of the Union List of Global
Newspapers, ICON was established by 13 Charter Members with the
Center for Research Libraries as its home.
ICON Working Group Summary of the April 8,
1998 Meeting (pdf)
ICON Working Group Summary of the June 25, 1998