Memorandum of Agreement

Table of Contents

  1. Mission Statement 1
  2. General Framework 2
  3. Cooperative Activities 2
  1. Coordination of Collection Development Activities 2
  2. Acquisitions 3
  3. Cooperative Cataloging 3
  4. Cooperative Access to Information via the Internet 4
  5. Cooperative Preservation Activities 4
  6. Other Cooperative Activities 4
  1. Cataloguing Procedures and Priorities 4
  2. Interlibrary Borrowing and Document Delivery 4
  3. Reference Services 5
  4. Administrative Organization 5
    1. Consortial-Wide 5
    2. Relationship with LC, CRL, CORMOSEA and Other Consortia 6
    3. Relationship with Affiliates Members 7
    4. New Members and Withdrawals 7
  1. Evaluation 7
  2. Proposed Time Line 8
  3. Glossary of Terms 8


I Conspectus of Collections

II Academic Program Descriptions

III Library Materials Processing

IV Project Plan and Time Line

V SEA-West Directory and Roster of Officers

VI Interlibrary Borrowing Brochures


University of British Columbia Library

University of California at Berkeley Library

University of Hawai`i at Manoa Library

University of Oregon Library

University of Washington Libraries, Seattle


The Southeast Asia Consortium-West (SEA-West) is an agreement among five academic libraries which support strong Southeast Asia programs to share responsibilities for collection and management of library materials through coordinated collection development and related activities at member libraries. Participating libraries are: University of British Columbia, University of California, Berkeley, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, University of Oregon, and the University of Washington, Seattle. It is intended that the University of Victoria and Arizona State University will also become members of this consortium, as soon as staffing situations allow.

The SEA-West Consortium is an expansion of the Northwest Regional Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies Consortium (NWRCSEAS), Library Consortium which was established in 1988 to support the expanding academic programs at the Universities of Washington and Oregon and British Columbia. This Northwest Regional Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies, Library Consortium is described in a1988 Operating Agreement. In April 1996 an addendum to this Operating Agreement served as an interim authorization under which the University of California at Berkeley Library joined this Library Consortium.

The SEA-West Library Consortium will expand membership beyond the existing NWRCSEAS institutions, while still retaining the commitments to the original NWRCSEAS library members and affiliates; there may be instances where the NWRCSEAS member libraries are subject to commitments or opportunities resulting from common funding sources or academic program requirements to which other SEA-West members are not party. This document supersedes both the 1988 operating agreement and the interim authorization governing the participation of the University of California at Berkeley Library.

The mission of the Consortium is:

  1. Provide adequate levels of research support for each member institution.
  2. Maintain and enhance the research base of Southeast Asia collections in the West Coast region.
  3. Provide enhanced access to resources held within consortium institutions, and local affiliate institutions.
  4. Share information on important professional issues, between member institutions and other smaller regional institutions.
  5. Develop cooperative strategies for grant proposals - particularly in the areas of cataloging and preservation.

Areas covered by this agreement:

  1. Geographical: all 10 countries of Southeast Asia: Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam.
  2. Chronological: all periods included.
  3. Linguistic: materials in all languages of these countries and all languages about these countries.
  4. Subject: all areas in the humanities, social sciences and fine arts, and certain applied sciences (environmental studies, public health, forestry, fisheries); including government documents for all disciplines.
  5. Formats and media: no exclusions.

Areas of cooperation will include collection development and enhancement in all formats, acquisition, cataloging, preservation, document delivery, bibliographic control and other areas of technical services. Member libraries are expected to commit institutional support adequate for facilitating the Consortium's objectives.


Discussions have taken place among Southeast Asia bibliographers of the Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA) group for a number of years about the desirability of forming a plan for a national distributed collection. These discussions have become more pertinent with the findings of the Association for Research Libraries/Association of American Universities (ARL/AAU) reports on foreign acquisitions and the clear budgetary and logistical constraints which are apparent for all of the countries not served by the Library of Congress cooperative acquisitions program. The CORMOSEA Report to the ARL Task Force alluded to the difficulties of even defining a bibliographic universe for the Southeast Asia region, against which a national collection can be measured; defining the parameters of a distributed national collection is therefore a task which will need to be addressed by the community of bibliographers. Such discussion will be coordinated by the Center for Research Libraries, Southeast Asia Program Task Force, which will represent the three regional clusters of Southeast Asia collections in the United States. These clusters will include representation from the Mid West, East Coast and the West Coast SEA-West Consortium.

SEA-West will cooperate in negotiating with national institutions like LC and CRL to ensure that materials needed to support programs are made available in the US. SEA-West representative/s on the CRL Southeast Asia Program Task Force (current officers are listed in Appendix V), will be active in molding such initiatives as the national Thai collection at CRL which will use LC's services to ensure that a second copy of designated materials acquired from Thailand will be made available for loan.


A. Coordination of Collection Development Activities

Under the agreement each institution is committed to acquiring core material in support of its basic academic program. A commitment by one institution to acquire materials in designated subjects and languages does not preclude acquisition of the same material by another institution. Division of collection responsibility established in the SEA-West Conspectus (Appendix I) applies to all material types; consortial cooperative acquisition and management is of particular value in the areas of ephemera, government publications, serial and newspaper acquisitions and preservation responsibilities, where province-level collecting and preservation can be effectively divided between institutions. For serials: information should be exchanged on expected up-coming cancellations and consultation encouraged to ensure that important titles are acquired and retained within the Consortium. Monographs and costly sets are other areas for cooperation; a system of consultation prior to purchase of materials costing over $500, aimed at preventing duplication of expensive resources, is already in place for existing consortium members. Shared access to expensive electronic sources is being explored.

It is understood that, even with this division of responsibility, members of the Consortium alone will not be able to provide comprehensive coverage for all countries. National collections planning, such as that envisaged by the CRL Southeast Asia Program Task Force, and the ARL Global Resources Program, will be the forum at which the problems of creating a comprehensive national collection will be addressed, with coverage of all significant languages and subjects at the national level as a long term goal.

All Consortium members are collecting the basic subject areas of humanities, social sciences, and reference materials. Some are collecting in fine arts. All members collect in one or more of the languages of the region, primarily Indonesian/Malay, Thai, Vietnamese and Tagalog. Most institutions collect selectively in the classical, regional or ethnic minority languages: Javanese, Hmong, Kawi, Jawi, Chinese etc. Each member of the consortium will build on this general base by collecting in specialized areas and languages, reflecting local curricular and research needs and building on traditional collection strengths.

B. Acquisitions

All five institutions receive part of their monographic materials from the Library of Congress Cooperative Acquisitions Program, through the LC programs for Indonesia, Burma, Indonesia and Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. The LC profiles will be used to determine each institution's current collecting strength, and to tailor collecting to reflect the agreed-upon collecting responsibilities. Materials from the remaining countries of the region: Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines are collected through a combination of approval plans, blanket order arrangements, locals agents, firm ordering and acquisitions trips. Bibliographers will work with individual dealers to ensure that cooperative priorities are reflected in blanket order arrangements and firm ordering activities.

Member libraries will cooperate in providing information about new vendors, acquisitions opportunities, gift and exchange partners and relevant experience working with vendors. Member libraries will arrange cooperative acquisitions activities during onsite buying trips when possible; guidelines for potential shared onsite cooperative acquisitions travel expenses and cooperative acquisitions activities will be drawn up. Such arrangements will take advantage of the travel schedules of the bibliographers at individual institutions and their particular linguistic expertise. Designation of a "country of focus" among the SEA-West members would facilitate updating information on acquisitions trends, inflation rates and collection development resources of these focus countries.

C. Cooperative Cataloging

The Consortium will explore the following possibilities to enhance bibliographic access:

  1. Coordinated priorities for cataloging specific geographic, linguistic or subject materials. To include prioritizing materials being out-sourced to services like OCLC TechPro.
  2. Utilization of cataloging records from Southeast Asian libraries.
  3. Cooperative hiring of catalogers with particular language expertise.
  4. Investigating ways to make out-sourcing of cataloging more cost effective.
  5. Cooperation in retrospective conversion.

D. Cooperative Access to Information via the Internet

A Consortium Home Page is being developed which will be linked to information about Southeast Asia holdings of individual institutions represented on their local home pages. Useful information to be mounted on these pages include: lists of currently received serials and newspapers, newspaper backfiles available on film and other research resources available on film, and specialized bibliographies produced by Southeast Asia specialists. The page should also provide access to member library online catalogs and information about use of the catalogs, and links to other relevant information resources, such as the CRL catalog and the SEAM home page.

The Consortium will investigate the potential for shared access to CD-ROM resources via Internet.

E. Cooperative Preservation Activities

  1. The Consortium will focus on division of responsibility for filming vernacular newspapers.
  2. Other older endangered collections will be examined as possible candidates for cooperative filming.

F. Other Cooperative Activities

  1. Cooperative grant applications, including use of the invitational priority category of the Title VI application process for funding library cooperative projects.
  2. Joint scholarly projects, including publications, development of web sites, conferences and presentations.


Technical Services units of Consortium member libraries will be kept apprised of distributed collecting responsibilities, and will make every effort to meet consortial expectations that bibliographic records for distributed collections be made available either through the bibliographic utilities, or though individual library catalogs via the Internet.

Cataloging priorities and procedures for member institutions are set out in appendix III.


Prompt and easy identification of ownership, and the quick and efficient delivery of materials on a cost recovery basis are desirable goals. Different processing procedures and schedules at individual libraries, as well as varying institutional policies for financing document delivery, may influence the attainment of these goals. Efforts to achieve them will continue.

All SEA-West members are OCLC contributors and use the OCLC Interlibrary Loan module. Its new Interlibrary Loan Fund Management Program will be monitored for future application towards the goals of the Consortium.

Interlibrary borrowing provisions, onsite access to faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students at each member library are described in the documents included as Appendix V.

All loans and copies between Consortium members will be charged at the existing rates maintained by each library.


Southeast Asia bibliographers will continue to query colleagues about sources and access problems by telephone, e-mail or other appropriate means. Use of the SEA-West email list, maintained at the University of Washington, will facilitate communication among Consortial members for this and other purposes. The CAP-SEA or CORMOSEA electronic lists maintained at Ohio University Library reach an even broader community of librarians and scholars and will be used as necessary.

Southeast Asia bibliographers currently provide orientation and reference service to visiting faculty and graduate students from Consortium member institutions and will continue to do so. They will also expedite and facilitate the granting of borrowing privileges for visiting faculty through the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program, or according to local protocol for those institutions which do not belong to this Program.

Accepting collection responsibilities in a language does not imply a concomitant responsibility to provide in-depth reference for other Consortium members in that language. However, each bibliographer will assist in locating and providing materials through interlibrary loan as possible.


A. Consortial-Wide

  1. An EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE will consist of: a Chair, a Secretary and one Bibliographer member. Each position will be elected for a term of 3 years, with the possibility of renewed terms. Terms will be staggered so that there will never be complete turn over of officers.
  2. BIBLIOGRAPHERS are responsible for initial division of responsibilities for collecting, and for keeping all personnel involved in SEA-West informed about changes and problems that would affect the functioning of the Consortium. They update their respective lists of faculty members as needed. They are also responsible for liaison with faculty and other users at their institutions. Bibliographers investigate and recommend expanded coordinated collection development activities. The bibliographers will meet as necessary at the Association for Asian Studies annual meeting in the Spring, and may meet at the biennial conference of the Northwest Regional Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies.
  3. A CHAIR will be responsible for guiding the progress of the Consortium by calling meetings and developing agenda items in response to internal suggestions and needs from SEA-West members and in response to external developments and opportunities. It will be the responsibility of the Chair to monitor such developments through liaison with CORMOSEA, CRL, LC and ARL. The Chair is responsible for insuring that records of meetings, conference calls, and other transactions of the group are transmitted to the Secretary for distribution or archiving. The Chair will hold the position for three years, and may be re-appointed at the recommendation of the group.
  4. A SECRETARY will be responsible for assisting the Chair with meeting arrangements, and will act as archivist in maintaining the permanent records regarding decisions, agreements, transactions or other affairs of the Consortium. The Secretary will ensure that the latest versions of documents are made available on the web site.
  5. The Consortium's COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS (CDOs) are responsible for arranging for the legal Consortium agreement, the commitment to financing and promoting special interlibrary borrowing arrangements, and assisting in the resolution of access issues; and in general, for negotiations with other administrative officers on behalf of the bibliographers. Collection development officers will meet as necessary at the American Library Association meetings, involving staff members for other functional areas (e.g., ILL), as appropriate. A Consortium Chief Collection Development Officer will be selected; it is preferred, although not necessary that the Chief CDO be from the same institution as the current Chair. The Chief CDO will monitor the list-serve and will forward items of concern to other CDOs when necessary.
  6. FACULTY LIASON will be selected by each institution; they will be included on the email list and can be consulted when required, and may be asked to serve as advocates for SEA-West.
  7. COMMUNICATIONS. A closed, unmoderated email list has been established at the University of Washington Libraries to facilitate easy communication between Consortium participants.

B. Relationship with LC, CRL, CORMOSEA and Other Consortia

  1. In its mission to provide its primary clientele with access to the widest range and depth of Southeast Asia related materials, SEA-West relies upon two important organizations which play supporting roles: the Library of Congress Cooperative Acquisitions Program for Southeast Asia (CAP-SEA), now under the administration of the African/Asian Acquisitions and Overseas Operations Division, and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). SEA-West will also work with other national library organizations, such as CORMOSEA, and the Association for Research Libraries.
  2. There are many divisions of the Library of Congress which provide important services to SEA-West member libraries: CAP-SEA provides selection of and shipment of material to Consortium members from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei (materials from Burma are provided through the New Delhi Office), and important budget management information. The selection and supply of materials by LC is an important service which commercial vendors in Southeast Asia are only able to partially duplicate at present - comparable capabilities to provide timely bibliographic information for selections and to handle international financial transaction exist only in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. Other services provided by the Library of Congress include supplying unpriced titles, sample serials, and microformatting of newspapers and monographic items which cannot be supplied in sufficient numbers to distribute to all CAP-SEA member libraries. The LC Field Offices in Jakarta and New Delhi provide descriptive cataloging data and some full level cataloging records for titles in Indonesian/Malay. As part of the evaluation process, SEA-West members will review the services of LC and commercial dealers on an ongoing basis to determine whether these continue to provide the most efficient and cost effective service.
  3. CRL' s rich holdings augment scarce research materials at our disposal, including the entire microfiche output from the Jakarta microformatting program. Consortium members who are also members of the Center for Research Libraries will rely upon the Center to provide access to lesser used serial titles which are held at the Center. Non-members of the Center will access materials under non-member terms. SEA-West members will work with the Center on various issues: including ensuring that appropriate serial titles are retained; and acquiring those materials necessary to complete the "national collection," if this cannot be achieved through the activities of consortia of libraries. The primary coordinating group for this activity will be the Southeast Asian Program Task Force of CRL, on which SEA-West has two representatives. In addition to SEA-West, there are two other regional cooperative groupings represented on the Task Force: the Mid-West, including the Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC) institutions, the Universities of Michigan and Wisconsin, and the Universities of Ohio and Northern Illinois; and the East Coast, with Columbia, Cornell, Yale and Harvard Universities and the Library of Congress as members. Every effort will be made to maintain and strengthen trans-consortial links through the Task Force, and to support other nation-level activities and initiatives of CRL, as appropriate.
  4. The Southeast Asia Microform Project of the Center provides enhanced access to rare research materials from the region. All members, with the exception of University of Victoria, are members of SEAM.
  5. The Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia (CORMOSEA), a sub-committee of the Association for Asian Studies, is the primary professional organization representing Southeast Asia collections. CORMOSEA has been responsible for coordinating a number of national level cooperative initiatives; SEA-West will work with CORMOSEA to promote further national collaboration.

C. Relationship with Affiliates Members

The structure of the initial Northwest Regional Consortium for Southeast Asian Studies encouraged outreach to smaller regional institutions which lacked the core teaching facilities or library services. Provision of library resources was critical to this affiliate status; the primary objective was for the nearest core library to provide loan services and support for a Southeast Asia liaison librarian in areas such as acquisitions information. The current Library Consortium has held two successful workshops for affiliate members and other regional colleges with interests in Southeast Asia. With the change of status of the University of Victoria from affiliate to core member, this leaves Langara College in B.C. as an official affiliate, and Lewis and Clark College with pending membership. However, it is in the spirit of the original NWRCSEA concept to work closely with smaller regional institutions. Under the re-structured SEA-West consortium, member libraries will be mindful of this historical role, and will provide outreach and tangible services to regional institutions as appropriate.

The NWRCSEA Library Cooperative agreement is described on the Southeast Asia Section Home Page at the University of Washington Libraries, at

D. New Members and Withdrawals

It is the intent of Consortium members to remain as flexible as possible in organizational matters. This will allow for rapid and rational response to challenges and opportunities within the present swiftly changing environment in member libraries, the broader academic arena, and in global scholarly publishing.

Libraries with an interest in joining the SEA-West Library Consortium are requested to contact the SEA-West Chair.

A member library wishing to withdraw is requested to notify the Chair two weeks prior to the AAS conference date, the year prior to withdrawal in order to allow for profile changes to be made in time for the next fiscal year and for other planning to take place.


Evaluations of SEA-West agreement will occur after two years, and again at the end of five years prior to reviewing an updated agreement to continue operation.

Evaluation criteria:

1. Interlibrary lending and borrowing statistics for participants: determination of net-lender and net-borrower status.

2. Cost savings from reductions in LC profiles and other acquisitions plans and cooperative reliance on collections and staff. Other impacts (e.g., on resource sharing operations, specialist and administrative staffing involvement, effectiveness of consortial communications systems).

3. User satisfaction. Participants will maintain primary user awareness of the project goals and invite user input in the areas of local collection development, cooperative reliance for materials collected remotely (consortial members and CRL), and reference services. Participants will survey primary users periodically and report on problems, needs, successes. Comments will be solicited from users on the SEA-West Home Page.


March 1997 Bibliographer meet at AAS and with CRL.
Spring 1997 LC subject profile and acquisitions arrangements finalized.
Spring 1998 Agreement reviewed with faculty, library administrators.
Spring 1998 Consortium agreement signed by directors.
Spring 1998 Set objectives and timetable for 1998/99 at AAS meeting.
June 1998 CDOs meet at ALA.
Sept 1998 Profile changes communicated to CAP-SEA by members.
Spring 2000 First evaluation; operational revisions proposed/reviewed/implemented.
Spring 2003 Five year evaluation.
Summer 2003 Amended Consortium document signed by directors and CDOs.


AAS Association for Asian Studies

Committee on Research Materials on Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia Microform Project (administered by CRL)

AAU Association of American Universities

ARL Association for Research Libraries

Global Resources Program

CAP-SEA Library of Congress, Cooperative Acquisitions Program, Southeast Asia

CIC Committee for Institutional Cooperation

CRL Center for Research Libraries

Southeast Asia Microform Project

Southeast Asia Program Task Force

DOE Department of Education

Title VI Program for International Education

LC Library of Congress

Cooperative Acquisitions Program

Cooperative Acquisitions Program, Southeast Asia

SEAM Southeast Asia Microform Project

Fifth draft April 1998