History of EPICo

In recent years many academic and national libraries worldwide have been trying to reduce the amount of time and money they spend on storing print material such as books and journals. At the same time, libraries must ensure that this content remains available for current users, and is preserved for the user of the future.

Managing print material remains a key priority for libraries, as new and in-demand work is published all the time.

EPICo was formed as a network of projects and practitioners from across Europe working in this field, and this page outlines the context and history of the group.

The story so far ...

  1. 1999 - 2012: The work of EPICo started many years before the group was formally agreed. The first four Kuopio conferences on repository library management were held between these years in Kuopio, Finland.
  2. August 2014: IFLA hosted a satellite meeting including a panel discussion on collaborative storage. A publication output of this was “Collections Earning Their Keep. An Overview of International Archiving Initiatives" (DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4704913)
  3. May 2015: The fifth Kuopio Conference was held in Kuopio, Finland.
  4. November 2015: Representatives from seven European print repositories attended a workshop to discuss and identify collaborative opportunities. The event, co-organised by Shared Archiving Austria and UKRR, was attended by delegates from CTLes (France), GEPA CBUC (Catalonia), the National Repository Library (Finland), the Repository Library of Norway, and ZHB Luzern (Switzerland).
  5. May 2016: The same representatives met again, and EPICo (European Print Initiatives Collaboration) was born as an international collaborative group. Since this time the group have met regularly, both in person across Europe, and online. The key priorities identified at this initial meeting were:
    1. the development of  database of archiving projects based on a questionnaire
    2. to understand methods for assessing financial savings and performance indicators.


  6. September 2016: EPICo members presented at the Sharing is Caring symposium in Mainz.
  7. July 2017: EPICo members involved in the panel discussion Opening up Spaces for Future Collaboration at 46th Liber Conference in Patras, Greece.
  8. March 2018: The sixth Kuopio Conference was held in Basel, Switzerland. This was the first one outside Kuopio, Finland.
  9. September 2022: While continuing to face the challenges of the global pandemic, the long-awaited seventh Kuopio Conference will take place in Vienna, Austria.
  10. EPICo members and collaborators have also published widely and spoken at other conferences and workshops about their individual projects.