HathiTrust: Shared Digital Library
Many of you may have heard of the Google Book Project, where Google is partnering with major research libraries to digitize their books. But what happens to all those digital files?
Several research libraries involved in mass digitization project have taken their digitized ebook files and created a shared digital library called HathiTrust consisting of full-text resources from the collections of the University of California system, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (the consortium of the Big Ten universities plus the University of Chicago), and the University of Virginia.
Hathi (pronounced hah-tee) takes its name from the Hindi word for elephant, which is known for its memory, wisdom, and trustworthiness. Its primary goal is to preserve the rich digital assets of participating libraries and to create a reliable repository for future generations.
Its primary goal is to preserve the rich digital assets of participating libraries and to create a reliable repository for future generations.
Another goal is to provide free access (whenever possible) to a vast array of research resources. Hathi contains more than 5.5 million volumes of digitized books.
Approximately 15 percent (852,238 volumes) of these are in the public domain and can be read online. As more partners join and more digital collections are added, it may well meet its mission to become the primary digital repository for the nation's great research libraries.
Researchers and the general public can access HathiTrust freely through this link: http://catalog.hathitrust.org. Users can search by keyword or phrase across the entire repository using full-text search capabilities. The search engine helps identify relevant resources, and if the full-text is not available, the scholar can use the catalog to locate the nearest library where the book is held. Users can now find links to HathiTrust volumes, including University of California Google digitized works, in the Next Generation Melvyl Pilot.
Currently Hathi contains partner institutions' digitized books from the Google Book Project. Just recently they added University of California books digitized by the Internet Archive. Every effort is made to respect copyright, and HathiTrust provides access only to those publications where permitted by law or by permission of the rights holder.
The future benefits to researchers and society are as enormous as its name. And while HathiTrust is still in its early stages, it is well on its way towards helping to promote scholarship and to advance new knowledge.
For more information on HathiTrust, please contact Lorelei Tanji, Associate University Librarian for Collections (firstname.lastname@example.org or x45216).
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