The full archive of Pacifica is now available online through the Library Hub to all members of the University of Divinity community.
The University of Divinity’s journal Pacifica was published from 1988-2017. Over the course of its 30-volume history, many individuals from the University of Divinity community were associated with its production, as authors, reviewers, editors, and members of its Executive Committee. Despite ceasing publication in 2017, Pacifica was mentioned in a recent blog post by Atla (formerly the American Theological Library Association). Atla was announcing new titles added to their full-text database products in April 2020, including content from five continents.
The blog post notes, “From Australia, Pacifica by the University of Divinity in Melbourne is included as a recently ceased publication. Founded in 1988 by a group of Roman Catholic scholars, Pacifica carries enduring emphases on biblical study, cultural engagement, and ecumenical solidarity, and was a critical introductory vehicle for original theology from Australasia to the world.”
See full blog post at https://www.atla.com/blog/pr-april-2020/
Recently, Atla has highlighted a number of ceased journal titles now available in their full-text databases, noting the enduring value of scholarly research contained in these titles. Atla notes that, “older journals often remain cornerstone pieces of scholarship long after they are published. The collection and preservation of these ceased titles, as they are known, is indispensable to the advancement of research, teaching, and fostering scholarly communication”. Atla is committed to ensuring that the scholarly significance of these ceased journal titles persists.
Although Pacifica was already indexed in Atla’s Religion Database, the recent announcement means that the full-text of the entire Pacifica archive is now also available. Pacifica is now included in AtlaSerials PLUS®, a full-text Atla database available to all members of the University of Divinity through the Library Hub. All Pacifica articles are also available online to thousands of additional students and researchers around the globe, whose institutions also subscribe to AtlaSerials PLUS®.
What might seem like a simple transition has taken a great deal of perseverance to achieve, with a few road blocks and detours along the way. Most libraries associated with the University would have had the full print run of Pacifica. Some may also have had online access to later-year volumes. However, there was no central place where the full run of the journal was available electronically to all members of the University. Initial inquiries about purchasing the back file for inclusion in the Library Hub were met with prohibitively expensive quotes. There was also confusion about who had the rights to the content of Pacifica after the publishing partnership between Sage and the University came to an end. Once it was finally confirmed that the University had the rights to the content and could pursue alternative arrangements for hosting the Pacifica archive, Library Hub manager, Kerrie Burn arranged with Sage for all of the journal’s electronic files to be transferred. These were subsequently made available to Atla so that they could be incorporated into their full-text database AtlaSerials PLUS®.
Being incorporated into a full-text Atla database means that the significant scholarly legacy of Pacifica is now able to reach both old and new audiences. Despite being a ceased title, content from Pacifica will continue to contribute to current research and advance the study of religion and theology around the globe.
Kerrie Burn is the Library Manager at Mannix Library in East Melbourne. While primarily serving the needs of staff and students of Catholic Theological College, Mannix Library welcomes all members of the University of Divinity community. Kerrie is Chair of the University’s Library Committee, and also manages the University’s online Library Hub which was launched in February 2016.