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UC Libraries and HathiTrust FAQ

  1. What is the HathiTrust?
  2. What does the name HathiTrust mean?
  3. How did the project come about?
  4. What libraries are participating?
  5. What is UC’s and CDL’s role?
  6. What will UC’s Digital Preservation Program be doing?
  7. Where is the content stored?
  8. What content is in the repository?
  9. What are the benefits to UC in participating in this project?
  10. What services will the HathiTrust offer users?

1. What is the HathiTrust?

The HathiTrust is an inter-institutional repository of primarily mass-digitized books. The repository supports both preservation and access, with a range of access services encompassing permitted uses of books digitized by Google and full access to public domain content.

2. What does the name HathiTrust mean?

Hathi (pronounced hah-tee) is the Hindi word for elephant, an animal highly regarded for its memory, wisdom, and strength. Trust is a core value of research libraries and one of their greatest assets. In combination, the words convey the key benefits researchers can expect from a first-of-its-kind shared digital repository.

3. How did the project come about?

The HathiTrust began in late 2008 as an outgrowth of the University of Michigan’s local MBooks repository (which contains UM’s books digitized by Google). It was initially re-conceived as a shared repository of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) institutions. The University of Michigan, University of California, and the 13 Universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation are the original lead partners.

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4. What libraries are participating?

In addition to the 10 UC libraries and the California Digital Library, partners include the libraries in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), University of Virginia, Columbia University, New York Public Library, and Yale University.

5. What is UC’s and CDL’s role?

Because of the size and scale of the UC libraries’ mass digitization program, UC was invited to become the third lead partner in the project. UC has significant representation at all levels of  External link to governance informationgovernance. CDL coordinates UC’s participation and devotes resources to the ongoing development of access and preservation services.  Many working groups have been charged by the Strategic Advisory Board and the Executive Committee, and UC is participating all in all of them and leading many of them.

6. How does this relate to the UC Curation Center?

The UC Curation Center is committed to preserving the digital assets that support UC’s research, teaching, and learning mission (e.g., UCTV, web archived content, UC library collections, eScholarship, electronic theses and dissertations, data sets etc.), not just mass digitized books and serials. The UC Curation Center continues to work with campus partners on an evolving set of digital curation services that are designed to meet UC’s unique needs.

7. Where is the content stored?

The current architecture includes two mirror sites — one at the University of Michigan and one at Indiana University. A third tape copy is stored in Ann Arbor. One or both sites could be relocated later on and/or additional sites added if there were a desire and adequate funding.

8. What content is in the repository?

Books digitized by Google (including more than 1.4 million volumes from UC) form the backbone of the repository, but Internet Archive-digitized volumes and locally-digitized books from the University of Michigan are also included.   UC will contribute all of its mass digitization materials (currently almost 3 million volumes), unifying our UC content digitized by Google and the Internet Archive (IA). The HathiTrust is also committed to including public domain content from non-Google partners.

9. What are the benefits to UC in participating in this project?

  • Greater service to users through combined content and access to materials digitized by other institutions. This includes content from partner libraries found nowhere else on the web or specifically opened (in the case of copyright-restricted materials) by copyright holders for access to users in HathiTrust.
  • Opportunity to provide deeper support for scholarly access to mass digitized materials, including the abilities to retrieve content in different formats (e.g. plain text, PDF, and page image), browse and facet search results, define full-text searches across selected bodies of content, and save items to targeted collections.
  • Reduced costs resulting from sharing access and preservation services with multiple partners.

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10. What services will the HathiTrust offer users?

Current services include:

  • Aggregation of content digitized by Google, Microsoft, Internet Archive, and other institutions for unified full text discovery and access with a common user experience.
  • Consolidated full text indexes for all content in the repository, which point to downloadable full text where available, or to local copies and Google Book Search copies.
  • Page-turner application for online viewing where permitted by copyright.
  • External link to collection builderCollection Builder tool.
  • Services for print-disabled users.
  • Copyright management and rights clearance.
  • External link to preservation informationDigital preservation.

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Last updated: December 14, 2012
Document owner: Heather Christenson