News Release: Emory Libraries Join HathiTrust

Partnership of academic libraries provides access to huge digital repository

Published 09-08-2010

The Emory Libraries have become a sustaining member of HathiTrust (, a partnership of academic and research libraries collaborating in a digital library initiative.

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. “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.

The 55 partner institutions will participate in a constitutional convention and formal review of HathiTrust in 2011, in which they will define its next phase of governance and shape the partnership's future directions.

“Emory has been a leader in digital libraries and digital collection development in the Southeast,” said 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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