Campus News

November 29, 2010

Emory joins nation's top research libraries in digital archive project

Robert W. Woodruff Library

Emory University Libraries have become a sustaining member of HathiTrust, a partnership of academic and research libraries collaborating in a digital archive initiative to dramatically increase access to research resources.

Founded in 2008, HathiTrust is jointly owned and operated by its member institutions from the United States and Europe, all focused on a common goal: to build an extraordinary digital library that preserves and provides access to the cultural record. Fifty-five institutions are now members, including the university libraries at Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Stanford and the University of California.

Benefits include full-text and bibliographic search capabilities, full PDF downloading of all public domain books, and full-text access for users with print disabilities. In addition, users can search the full text of books they put into a collection using the Collection Builder feature.

"Membership in the HathiTrust is significant to us for two reasons: It affirms Emory's commitment to building and preserving a deep collection of digital materials owned and managed by academic institutions, and it further extends Emory's ability to support faculty research, teaching and scholarship at Emory," says Rick Luce, vice provost and director of Emory Libraries.

"Academic and research libraries are increasingly working together and sharing resources. It's cost-effective and beneficial to our communities," says Luce. "The HathiTrust is a collaboration of libraries whose aim is to build a comprehensive archive of published literature, and Emory is proud to be a partner in that."

More than 1.7 million of HathiTrust's volumes are in the public domain and freely available on the Web. The growing repository currently contains 7 million volumes of both copyright and public domain materials, many of which were digitized through the Google and Internet Archive programs.

"Emory has been a leader in digital libraries and digital collection development in the Southeast," says John Wilkin, executive director of HathiTrust. "We are pleased to have their support in this endeavor, and their participation as we formulate the next steps for our partnership."

HathiTrust (pronounced "HAH-tee") 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 the nation's top research libraries.

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