HathiTrust and the Goal of Preservation/Access

In looking at the HathiTrust website and reading the articles this week, I have to agree with mmmeyer3 that they have done a good job of keeping to their stated goals.  All four of these goals have evidence from the articles and the website to show how HathiTrust is adhering to these goals but I am going to focus on the goal of access/preservation.  From the readings and the website, it seems that HathiTrust is very dedicated to ensuring the material they have is accessible, for this generation and for the future.  An example is that despite 70% of their material being protected under copyright, they are painstakingly examining each of these items individually to see if they can be transferred to public domain.  This is explained in the Christienson article, where the University of Michigan has constructed and is using the Copyright Review Management System to undertake this process of examining and evaluating these copyrighted materials.  Another example is from the website, where there are several working groups, the Usability Working Group and the User Support Working Group, which are meant to help users access the material.  More evidence that the goal of access is achieved is through the partnership with University presses to allow open access to these materials.  All of these examples show that HathiTrust is dedicated to ensuring its patrons have the greatest access to the material they have digitized.

The goal of preservation is also important to HathiTrust and I really liked the comment in the York article that “Users of HathiTrust can expect that the volumes they use will be right where they left them today and 50 or 100 years from now.  Libraries are the entity best entrusted with this responsibility, and no other entity has a better track record in fulfilling it.”  Since HathiTrust is supported by libraries, they will ensure that the material will be preserved for future generations.

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