"We are committed to providing solutions for archiving, and vital support for research," said John Wilkin, HathiTrust executive director and associate university librarian at the University of Michigan. "This new service provides access to the collections of the nation's premier research libraries. It's another step in building a worldwide, highly accessible 21st-century digital library."
The unprecedented admission for the public to examine archives at the most prominent research libraries is an ongoing effort for HathiTrust to build a digital archive of library materials converted from print, co-owned and managed by participating academic institutions. Nearly half a million records in the repository link to works in the public domain, making online full-text available to anyone with an Internet browser.
The HathiTrust Digital Library, launched in October 2008, includes the 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), the 11 university libraries of the University of California system, and the University of Virginia.
HathiTrust is also currently finding ways to proficiently use large-scale full-text searching, which will provide researchers with a mechanism to search within the works and across the entire repository. Blending the latest technology with purpose of sharing knowledge, HathiTrust is building a community with the common goal of openly distributing information.
HathiTrust partners began including digital content from Indiana University and the University of California in late April. The addition of digital content from these institutions increases the number of books and journals in the repository by an estimated 500,000 volumes per month, according to Wilkin. Before adding these materials, content was exclusively from collections at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin.
Catalog records of the HathiTrust Digital Library are also available to local libraries, which can download and incorporate HathiTrust records into a local catalog. Many institutions, including the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado, have already successfully integrated the content.
Hathi (pronounced hah-TEE) is the Hindi word for elephant, an animal regarded for its memory, wisdom and strength. "The elephant is not only a symbol for our vision of the worldwide digital library," said Wilkin, referring to the repository's tagline, "it's marching through libraries across the country."
Any research library with digital content or an interest in curating digital content can become a partner, he said. Current HathiTrust membership includes:
? California Digital Library
• Indiana University
• Michigan State University
• Northwestern University
• The Ohio State University
• Penn State University
? Purdue University
? University of California Berkeley
? University of California Davis
? University of California Irvine
? University of California Los Angeles
? University of California Merced
? University of California Riverside
• University of California San Diego
• University of California San Francisco
• University of California Santa Barbara
• University of California Santa Cruz
? The University of Chicago
? University of Illinois
? University of Illinois at Chicago
? The University of Iowa
? University of Michigan
? University of Minnesota
? University of Wisconsin-Madison
? University of Virginia
For more information and to test the catalog feature, visit: www.hathitrust.org. The catalog is at catalog.hathitrust.org