Two years after its launch, the HathiTrust Digital Library is raising the bar for collaboration among research libraries. Containing more than 7 million volumes from member library collections, HathiTrust now is jointly owned and operated by 52 institutions from the U.S. and Europe, all focused on a common goal — to build an extraordinary digital library that preserves and provides access to the cultural record.
The new members to HathiTrust include the Library of Congress, Stanford University, Arizona State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Madrid, HathiTrust’s first international partner.
“This is an extraordinary moment for research libraries,” says John Wilkin, executive director of HathiTrust and associate university librarian at U-M. “These remarkable and forward-thinking libraries have come together to create a vast and increasingly comprehensive international digital library.”
The 52 partner institutions will participate in a constitutional convention and formal review of HathiTrust in 2011. At the convention, these institutions will define HathiTrust’s next phase of governance and shape future directions for the partnership.
“The efforts of these libraries will help ensure our ability to preserve the cultural record, both digitally and in print,” Wilkin says. “The breadth of the collaboration is a powerful indicator of the library community’s commitment to this important ideal.”
HathiTrust was launched in 2008 by the 11 University of California libraries and the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, with key support provided by U-M and Indiana University. Today, HathiTrust has more than tripled the number of volumes held, doubled its initial partnership, and fulfilled many of its initial objectives for repository services and infrastructure.
Some of the partners’ significant achievements include full text search of the entire repository, enhanced services for users with print disabilities, and the deployment of tools and infrastructure to enable ongoing collaborative development of repository services and capabilities.
The addition of these new partners, Wilkin says, adds to the momentum HathiTrust has gained toward fulfilling its mission to “contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating and sharing the record of human knowledge.”
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