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Major library partners launch HathiTrust shared digital repository

There's an elephant in the library; organizers promise it will never forget


ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A group of the nation's largest research libraries are collaborating to create a repository of their vast digital collections, including millions of books, organizers announced today. These holdings will be archived and preserved in a single repository called the HathiTrust. Materials in the public domain will be available for reading online.


Launched jointly by the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) and the 11 university libraries of the University of California system, the HathiTrust leverages the time-honored commitment to preservation and access to information that university libraries have valued for centuries. UC's participation will be coordinated by the California Digital Library (CDL), which brings its deep and innovative experience in digital curation and online scholarship to the HathiTrust.


"This effort combines the expertise and resources of some of the nation's foremost research libraries and holds even greater promise as it seeks to grow beyond the initial partners," said John Wilkin, associate university librarian of the University of Michigan and the newly named executive director of HathiTrust. Hathi (pronounced HAH-tee), the Hindi word for elephant incorporated into the repository's name, underscores the immensity of this undertaking, Wilkin says. Elephants also evoke memory, wisdom and strength.



As of today, HathiTrust contains more than 2 million volumes and approximately