This week’s readings were all about HathiTrust. Although it was a “focus on” this library, there were more rabbit holes of information than I anticipated! HathiTrust isn’t quite 5 years old, but has managed to cultivate a giant online presence with a lot of prestigious partners and true to it’s spirit of openness, everything you could ever want to know about it is available from it’s website. In your response this week, please address at least one of the questions below.

  1. We’ve talked about the DPLA, Google Books, the Internet Archives, Project Gutenberg, and the international versions of the DPLA, so where does HathiTrust fit into the world of DLs? The overlap between these sites is growing larger making specialization harder to discern. HathiTrust has already added images to their list of acceptable item types and is working on adding audio. It has also expanded to start including international libraries. HathiTrust’s main focus remains on academic libraries versus the DPLA’s focus on public libraries. With the current rate of expansion of HathiTrust, what do you see as it’s niche in the future and how do you see it working with or against the DPLA effort?
  2. HathiTrust’s core values are stated as “community, scale, access/preservation, and openness”. From the articles and from your exploration of the site, what activities or information have you found that support these values?



A little technical information on the standards used at HathiTrust as a tie-in to last week:

METS structure for HathiTrust:


PREMIS elements from the LOC (used for the preservation information storage):


MARCXML elements from the LOC:


An interesting read:


HathiTrust is in compliance with the Trustworthy Repository Audit and Certification criteria. This wasn’t something that I had heard of prior to this week, but it makes sense. We can’t trust the data unless we can trust the organization and this stamp of authenticity is a great thing to have for DLs. It’s a good read not so much for knowing that the HathiTrust is a trustworthy repository but for knowing what the benchmarks are for a DL.

Complete rabbit-hole:  My mother’s family is from India, so this week the songs from the old movie Haathi mere saathi have been running through my head. I thought I’d share that wealth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CS4nLI2ZX8


2 responses to “HathiTrust

  1. The first I heard about Hathi was in my ethics and law course with Rubel (if you really want to try to wrap your head around information ethics and the law, take this class!). So initially my focus was on the legal side of things. Google played a bit fast and loose with some of the laws, especially when it came to contacting “orphan” works (and by extension, UW which I find ironic). But I had never looked at the site until now.

    I am a big proponent of digitizing everything that can possibly be digitized, although I realize not everything can be open-sourced. I loved that with Hathi, there is such an extensive, one-stop-shop (sort of) for digital works. There tends to be so much out there in the wild world of the web that smaller websites can be overlooked. For example, I attended the IU-SAA conference in Indiana this last weekend and I learned about some amazing digital websites that I want to look at further:

    I would never have found these digital archives if I had not attended the conference. Since I don’t deal with royal libraries, ancient Bibles, and other old texts, I most likely wouldn’t have found them on my own either.

    In other words, I am a book browser. This is easy to do when you are in a physical library, but not so easy to do online. Sure, I could go to Google Books or the Internet Archives (which I often do) and see what is there, but even then I don’t think the above texts would have popped up. In that way, Hathi Trust does have a niche – it makes browsing for old and ancient texts a lot easier. Now if they would add links to the many other digital collections that are out there.

    Well, I am off to peruse their collection of old cookbooks I stumbled across. Another hobby of mine 🙂

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