Aug. 30, 2013 – Allegheny College has become the newest member of HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in a digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form.
“Allegheny College is among the earliest members of nationally-recognized liberal arts colleges to join HathiTrust,” said John Wilkin, the organization’s executive director. “Their partnership affirms the value of our collective work to a growing range of libraries and institutions. We look forward to working together with Allegheny College as we pursue our mission to preserve and ensure long-term access to the scholarly record.”
Over the last four years, the partners have contributed more than 10 million volumes to the digital library, digitized from their library collections through a number of means including Google and Internet Archive digitization and in-house initiatives. More than 3 million of the contributed volumes are in the public domain and freely available on the Web.
HathiTrust serves a dual role. As a trusted repository, it guarantees the long-term preservation of the materials it holds, providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. Second, HathiTrust offers persistent access to the digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading and searching access to public domain volumes, and searching access to copyright volumes. Specialized features are also available that facilitate access by persons with print disabilities and that allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.
“HathiTrust epitomizes the value libraries and colleges place on sharing responsibility for gathering, maintaining and making available our cultural heritage,” said Linda Bills, director of the Allegheny College library. “We are proud that, by becoming a supporting member, we are contributing to this endeavor while making an invaluable resource available to our students and faculty.”
HathiTrust was named for the Hindi word for elephant, hathi, symbolic of the qualities of memory, wisdom and strength evoked by elephants. Hathi also reflects the huge undertaking of congregating the digital collections of libraries in the United States and beyond.
HathiTrust is funded by the partner libraries and governed by members of the libraries through an executive committee and a strategic advisory board. More information on HathiTrust is available at www.hathitrust.org/.