Security Working Group
The CERL Security Working group exists to help member libraries enhance the security of their culturally important heritage collections.
Programme of summer schools
The Security Network has the intention to organise a summer school on Security issues. Curators and security officers from libraries and archives will be invited to spend a few days at a course where we aim to share knowledge on topics like collection security, reading the behaviour of your readers, legal aspects, national and international collaboration, what to do after a theft, embedding security in the wider organisation, and digital security.
The aim is to organise this summer school annually, always in a different part of Europe. The first summer school will be held at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, aimed at (but not exclusively open to) colleagues from the Netherlands and Flanders, the 2018 and 2019 summerschools will be in Rome and Tartu, respectively. If you wish to host the summer school, please contact Marian Lefferts.
Hosts of each summer school will address the issues above, but will tailor the programme to the situation in their own region, and will select the most suitable speakers to address the topics on the programme. The hope is that the summer schools will create a network of security officers and curators who work together on best practices, who alert each other to potential thieves or stolen books on the market, and who generally support each other in security matters.
- 2017 The Hague, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands
- 2018 Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale
- 2019 Tartu, University of Tartu Library
- To coordinate information about on-going security issues of relevance for collections within the scope of CERL, through the CERL Security Network and through other appropriate channels
- To monitor and disseminate information on emerging methods and technologies in library crime prevention and detection
- To identify emerging areas of vulnerability or concern
- To coordinate access to important documents on legislation, policy and practice relating to collection security
- To provide guidance on building robust collection security policy and practice relating to threats to collections
- To organise events for information exchange, as well as skills development
- To serve as an interface with security networks in related sectors
The CERL Working Group on security focuses on threats posed to collections by criminal activity, such as theft, willful destruction, or by the adulteration of collection. Other physical threats to collections, such as fire, earthquakes, terrorism or flooding are only within the group’s remit in so far as they have an impact on the collections’ vulnerability to criminal depredation.
Membership of the Working Group is restricted to CERL members, on nomination by the member library, but the Security Working Group conferences and workshops are normally open to all.
Members of the Working Group
Kristian Jensen, British Library
Denis Bruckmann, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Per Cullhed, Uppsala University Library, Uppsala
Claudia Fabian, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München
Jacqueline Lambert, Royal Library, Brussels
Claus Friis, Royal Library, Copenhagen
Lars Ilshammar, Royal Library, Sweden
Nina Korbu, National Library of Norway
Eva Nylander, Lund - on behalf of the CERL Swedish group members
Charlotte Rohde, Royal Library, Copenhagen
Wim Tromp, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, The Hague
The confidential Security Network
Institutions may nominate one member of staff (typically the Head of Security or equivalent) to be included in the Security Network mailing list. This mailing list is a secure environment for the exchange of confidential information regarding incidents of criminal activity witnessed in subscribing institutions.
With the support of the LIBER Executive Board, the Royal Library, Copenhagen, set up the LIBER Security Network in December 2002. From January 2013 the Security Network is hosted by CERL.
British Library, London
Our Written Heritage in Peril, a conference organised by the British Library and the Institute of Art and Law took place on 26 June 2015. It had a special focus on legal aspects of the return of stolen books across borders. While not organised by CERL, the conference heard papers from five CERL member institutions and a future role for CERL in connection with ILAB’s database of stolen books was discussed. The papers and the discussion can be heard in the four podcasts listed below.
https://soundcloud.com/the-british-library/podcast-written-heritage-of-mankind-in-peril-part-1 https://soundcloud.com/the-british-library/podcast-written-heritage-of-mankind-in-peril-part-2 https://soundcloud.com/the-british-library/podcast-written-heritage-of-mankind-in-peril-3 https://soundcloud.com/the-british-library/podcast-written-heritage-of-mankind-in-peril-part-4
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome
The title of the first conference of the CERL Security Network was Library Security: Practices and Strategies and took place on 8 May 2015, at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Rome. The programme was divided into four sessions covering Accountability and Governance, Staff interaction with collections, Digital tools for prevention and detection, and The process of recovery. How do we interact with the investigating and legal authority? The full programme is available here.
Per Culhed, Uppsala Universitetsbiblioteket, A simple but efficient technique for audits of book collections.
Kristian Jensen, British Library, London, Collection Security Governance in the British Library.
Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague
The 4th LIBER Collection Security Conference took place on Friday 23 November 2012. The programme and powerpoint presentations are available here.
British Library, London
Papers and presentations held at the 3rd LIBER Collection Security Conference (2008) are available on the BL website. Perhaps more interestingly here is a link to a Report on International Roundtable Meeting on Collection Security held at the British Library written by Andy Stephens and Helen Shenton, published in Liber Quarterly Volume 18 Issue 2 2008. Finally, all articles from this special issue of LIBER Quarterly are available here.
- International Committee for Museum Security (ICOM) http://network.icom.museum/icms/
- The National Museum Security Group (NMSG) is the principal UK communications channel for the sharing of security information by cultural heritage organisations.
Artificial DNA marking
In 2015, ARIS sponsored the “Global Centre of Innovation for the i2M Standards” at the University of NY in Albany to develop standards and a product for object marking with artificial DNA and a high security data management system. This specific model of implementation is not directly relevant for libraries as it relies on placing physical carriers of DNA on each item, and as it aims to track the movement of objects through the trade, which requires a complex centrally administered database. However it shows that the technology is moving towards implementation. Two links with further information:
Recording distinguishing features of a collection
- Collection security at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, the National Library of the Netherlands, including an overview of distinguishing features
- KB Copenhagen, features of the Royal Collection http://wayback-01.kb.dk/wayback/20101103150800/http:/www2.kb.dk/kb/missingbooks/marks/index.htm
Security guidelines and recommendations
- Recommendations drawn up by the the German group DBV-AG Handschriften und Alte Drucke (2015) http://www.bibliotheksverband.de/fachgruppen/arbeitsgruppen/handschriften-und-alte-drucke/aktivitaeten/empfehlungen.html
- Theft of Books and Manuscripts from Libraries: an advisory code of conduct for booksellers and librarians by CILIP and the Antiquarian Booksellers Association http://www.cilip.org.uk/rare-books-and-special-collections-group/policy-statements
- Guidelines drawn up by the EBNA Expert Working Group (2008) http://ec.europa.eu/archival-policy/docs/eag/practical_guidance_en.pdf
- ACRL/RBMS Guidelines Regarding Security and Theft in Special Collections http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/security_theft
- Blogpost by Ferriero, National Archives of America, with pointers on improving security http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/?p=1878/
- Guidelines for reviewing security measures in museums, Collections Trust, United Kingom - Security
- Book review by Raphaele Mouren, of Guide to Security Considerations and Practices for Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collection Libraries, Compiled & Edited by Everett C. Wilkie, Jr.(Chicago, Association of College & Research Libraries, 2011), 364 p., 25,5 cm, ISBN 978-083898592 http://bbf.enssib.fr/consulter/bbf-2013-05-0101-007
Making missing or stolen books known
- Missing historical documents and items from the National Archives at http://www.archives.gov/research/recover/missing-documents.html
- National Archives Archival Recovery Team on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/archivalrecoveryteam
- An OCLC study to link a notice about a stolen book to the relevant WorldCat record http://www.oclc.org/research/activities/missingmaterials.html?urlm=159683
- Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, 20 West 44th St., 4th floor, New York, NY 10035-6604. 212-944-8291; (fax) 212-944-8293; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The ABAA circulates reports of thefts through its electronic discussion list and maintains a stolen books database with a report form at http://www.abaa.org/books/abaa/databases/stolen_search.html
- DeRicci Project: email@example.com (for pre-1600 manuscripts only)
- International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Send theft reports and requests for database searches to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For books stolen after 15 June 2010 http://www.stolen-book.org/
- International Antiquarian Mapsellers Association “Missing and Stolen Map Database”: http://www.missingmaps.info. This is open to the public, but use of the report form does require site registration.
- Interpol. Investigates international thefts of cultural property. Submit reports via Interpol liaison at state or provincial level or via F.B.I. http://www.interpol.int/Public/WorkOfArt/Default.asp
News about thefts
- Map thefts http://www.maphistory.info/theftnews.html
- Stolen in France, found in Hungary http://dailynewshungary.com/hungary-returns-antique-maps-stolen-from-france/
- The police in Bavaria ask for identification of editions and of owners of the pages and plates reproduced here, found in the possession of a suspected book thief (summer 2016)
- Stolen from a West London warehouse on the night of 29th January 2017 while in transit for the California Book Fair. Two lists list of titles: aba_list_of_stolen_books_january_2017.pdf and meda_riquier_california_list.pdf. If anyone offers you any of these titles, please contact ABA Secretary Camilla Szymanowska on +44 20 7421 4681 email@example.com or ABA Security Chair Brian Lake on +44 20 7631 4220 firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. For more details of individual copies, please contact the dealers directly.
THE COPENHAGEN PRINCIPLES
A conference on Library security management was held under the auspices of LIBER in the Royal Library, Copenhagen, in May 2002, which formulated and endorsed The Copenhagen Principles (14 May 2002 / see below).
The representatives of the national and research libraries present (hereafter called the representatives) agree to establish a new security network for trans-national co-operation between libraries in order to prevent and combat criminal offences against significant library collections.
The representatives accept that each national or research library is responsible for setting up its own security policies and security systems, but they endorse their commitment to co-operation as part of a wider security network.
The representatives agree to inform and assist one another in a secure network when a library is subject to potential or actual criminal attacks against its collections.
The representatives agree to commit themselves to defining and developing a common ethical code of practice on security information handled and exchanged among libraries.
The network will co-operate with the police at an international level.
The representatives agree to nominate a designated member of staff as the library contact for the network.
The designated staff (security managers) will share experiences on security issues and best practice with one another.
Information about security issues is confidential to the security network.
The representatives encourage LIBER to establish co-operation on security issues with the book trade and with other memory institutions.
Unanimously endorsed by the delegates at the LIBER Conference on Library Security Management, Copenhagen, 12-14 May 2002. Copenhagen, 14 May 2002
Erland Kolding Nielsen