The University of Delaware Library has become one of the newest members of the HathiTrust.

Digital library initiative

University of Delaware Library joins HathiTrust partnership


8:50 a.m., April 6, 2012--The University of Delaware Library has become one of the newest members of the HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form.

The University of Delaware Library plans to contribute public domain volumes digitized through in-house projects to the HathiTrust.

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Launched in 2008, the HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprised of more than 60 partners.

Over the last two years, the partners have contributed more than eight million items to the digital library, digitized from their library collections through a number of means including Google, the Internet Archive digitization and in-house initiatives. More than two million of the contributed volumes are in the public domain and freely available on the web.

The HathiTrust serves a dual role. First, as a trusted repository it guarantees the long-term preservation of the materials it holds, providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. Second, as a service for partners and a public good, the HathiTrust offers persistent access to the digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading, and searching access to in copyright volumes. Specialized features are also available which facilitate access by persons with print disabilities, and allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.

“The University of Delaware looks forward to membership in the HathiTrust as a means of facilitating access to a diverse array of digitized materials that will benefit the faculty and staff of the University of Delaware,” stated Susan Brynteson, vice provost and May Morris Director of Libraries.

The HathiTrust was named for the Hindi word for elephant, hathi, symbolic of the qualities of memory, wisdom and strength evoked by elephants, as well as the huge undertaking of congregating the digital collections of libraries in the United States and beyond. The HathiTrust is funded by the partner libraries and governed by members of the libraries through an executive committee and a strategic advisory board. More information on the HathiTrust is available at the website.

The mission of the HathiTrust is to contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating and sharing the record of human knowledge. Goals of the HathiTrust are:

  • To build a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by a number of academic institutions. 
  • To dramatically improve access to these materials in ways that, first and foremost, meet the needs of the co-owning institutions.
  • To help preserve these important human records by creating reliable and accessible electronic representations.
  • To stimulate redoubled efforts to coordinate shared storage strategies among libraries, thus reducing long-term capital and operating costs of libraries associated with the storage and care of print collections.
  • To create a technical framework that is simultaneously responsive to members through the centralized creation of functionality and sufficiently open to the creation of tools and services not created by the central organization.

The HathiTrust currently offers the following digitized efforts: 10,107,864 total volumes; 5,371,804 book titles; 266,504 serial titles; 3,537,752,400 pages; 453 terabytes; 120 miles; 8,213 tons; and 2,799,863 volumes ( approximately 28 percent of total) in the public domain.

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