Electronic Resources Australia (ERA) was established in 2007 with the aim of achieving access for Australians to quality electronic resources, and a key goal of working together towards national licences to deliver both quality and equity. The National Library of Australia administered ERA on behalf of Australian libraries, with the expectation that achievement of national or sectoral licences would cover the service’s administrative costs. ERA was able to deliver a number of benefits for libraries and Australians by providing Australian libraries with options for collaborative purchasing of electronic resources for over five years. However despite a considerable effort by many, national or sectoral licences were not achieved. Without a sustainable business model to support the service - and with evidence to show that ERA was not able to achieve equity of access to eResources - the National Library decided to discontinue support for the service. ERA closed in March 2013.
One of the benefits of ERA was that the National Library of Australia negotiated and maintained Head Deeds with the vendors of the ERA products, to ensure the best possible terms and conditions of use for electronic resources in Australian libraries. An ERA Head Deed has been made available to assist Australian libraries in their future arrangements with vendors.