Dartmouth Joins Digital Library Partnership HathiTrust


Dartmouth has joined what promises to be the world’s largest library, the HathiTrust, becoming the most recent member of this collaborative effort to create a comprehensive digital repository of published scholarship. “Membership in the HathiTrust,“ says Provost Carol Folt, “further extends our ability to support faculty research, teaching, and learning at Dartmouth. Joining in partnership with other research institutions and consortia is a cost-effective way of providing deeper collection content and preserving long-term access for the future.” HathiTrust includes the Princeton, Yale, and Columbia University libraries, the University of California’s library system, and the University of Virginia library among its members.

Richard Asala ’13 consults a digital version of John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice while studying contemporary works on the Italian architects Andrea Palladio and Giorgio Vasari. (photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

“HathiTrust is delighted to have Dartmouth join us as we expand to new models of participation,” says John Wilkin, executive director of HathiTrust. “Dartmouth’s students and faculty have benefited from the priority and emphasis Dartmouth places on access for students to a broad spectrum of materials. HathiTrust will be strengthened by this perspective, as well as Dartmouth’s strong tradition of commitment to intellectual freedom. Dartmouth now joins major research libraries across the country in our commitment to ensuring the future of the scholarly record.”

Dartmouth’s partnership with HathiTrust builds on other complementary alliances, notes Jeffery Horrell, Dean of Libraries and Librarian of the College. “The Dartmouth Library was an early partner in Portico, originally an Andrew Mellon Foundation supported project, and now a consortium committed to preserving the digital versions of major commercial journal offerings.” “Similarly,” he says, “Dartmouth was an early subscriber to JSTOR scholarly journals in electronic form, which also has a sophisticated strategy for preserving its content.”

The initial HathiTrust repository, Horrell explains, includes monographs and journals digitized by the University of Michigan as part of the Google Books project. Approximately 7 million volumes are available for full-text searching, and vast amounts of in-copyright titles are held as a digital archive by the Trust. Digital content from partner institutions is currently being added to the Trust’s holdings, he notes, including significant content from the University of California and Indiana University. “Through HathiTrust,” Horrell says, “Dartmouth will have access to full-text searching, data mining for scholarship, and the ability to harvest information in customized ways to add to our local collections.” HathiTrust content will also be available through the library’s resource discovery services.

Becoming a part of HathiTrust is fully in line with the Library’s values, says Elizabeth Kirk, associate librarian for information resources. With the increased frequency of both commercial and not-for-profit publishers offering content electronically, securing that content is vitally important. “It’s the library’s business to ensure the future of the scholarly record and to make it discoverable, accessible, and useful.”

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Kelly Sundberg Seaman