Washington University Libraries has joined HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries to preserve and provide access to the published record in a digital form, announced Shirley K. Baker, Washington University’s vice chancellor for scholarly resources and dean of University Libraries.
WUSTL, which joined HathiTrust Jan. 1, 2012, now is partnering with more than 60 other major academic and research libraries from across the United States and the world in an effort to preserve and share the record of human knowledge.
“We are pleased and proud to join the HathiTrust, an effort in which leading research libraries are greatly expanding virtual collections that are available to all members,” Baker says.
“With this membership, our community instantly gains access to a greatly enriched online collection of early imprints across all disciplines, and that benefits scholars in countless subject areas.”
At present, HathiTrust’s repository contains more than 10 million volumes, most of which were digitized from the collections of American and British research libraries as part of the Google Books Library Project, Google’s effort to scan and make searchable the collections of several major research libraries.
“We enthusiastically welcome Washington University Libraries to the HathiTrust partnership,” says John Wilkin, executive director of the HathiTrust. “Having Washington University on board adds another worthy institution to our growing list of partners, thereby strengthening our collaboration and extending our ability to serve.”
If a desired volume is under copyright, the full text will not be displayed, but the search will list nearby libraries that have a copy. Of the HathiTrust’s 10 million volumes, more than 2.7 million are in the public domain.
Current students, faculty or staff at Washington University or at any other HathiTrust partner institution may download any of the public domain volumes held in HathiTrust.
In addition to gaining new access for current students, faculty and staff, WUSTL Libraries will have the opportunity to digitize rare or unique public domain works from their own collections and deposit those digitized materials in the HathiTrust repository, where they may be accessed by persons affiliated with any of the HathiTrust members.
HathiTrust was launched in 2008 by a 12-university consortium known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, along with the University of California system. It has grown to more than 60 partners, including WUSTL, Columbia University, Princeton University, Yale University, Duke University and Johns Hopkins University.
Among its stated goals, HathiTrust seeks “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.” HathiTrust seeks to “dramatically improve access to these materials in ways that, first and foremost, meet the needs of the co-owning institutions.”
To those ends, HathiTrust draws its materials from various sources, including the Google Books Library Project. HathiTrust also includes materials from the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization that offers free online access to historical digital collections. Additionally, HathiTrust member libraries may scan and submit digital versions of rare or unique holdings from their separate collections.
For more information about HathiTrust, visit hathitrust.org.
About Washington University Libraries
The Washington University Libraries’ 12 libraries (10 on the main Danforth Campus, one at the Medical School and one at West Campus) house 4.5 million books and periodical volumes.
Among Washington University Libraries’ many strengths is its collection of contemporary German literature unparalleled anywhere outside Germany; extensive holdings in vernacular Chinese literature and history; and exceptional special collections in modern literary manuscripts, rare books, documentary film and 20th-century illustration.