HathiTrust Digital Library

While the HathiTrust Digital Library continues to grow in scope, I feel that the organization could work quite well with the DPLA. HathiTrust and DPLA serve very different patron populations, but that does not necessarily mean that some common ground between the two could not be cultivated.

For instance, an aspect of intellectual content could be supported by a cultural (digital) collection available through the DPLA. Example: Multicultural studies could be enhanced through the aggregation of the cultural (and non-academic) record held by DPLA’s public and special libraries. In this case, digital photos of Native American artifacts or collections of urban Latino art.

Preservation is a “formal commitment” (Christenson, 2011) of HathiTrust (and, to at least some degree, all libraries). York (2012) writes, “Preservation without access is of no value.” HathiTrust has demonstrated a “commitment” to preservation through building a complex “repository infrastructure” at the University of Michigan that includes a complete backup of files, and “stored copyright information”. Indiana University hosts a mirror site of the UM repository. Additionally, HathiTrust is the only digital library maintained by libraries to receive the distinction of “’Trustworthy Digital Repository’” (2012).


Another core value, scale, is undoubtedly supported with nearly 11 million volumes digitized so far.

 HathiTrust gives libraries two membership options, and allows for consortia memberships as well. What is not clear to me at this point is if the actual membership costs are high enough to prevent smaller (less prestigious?) colleges and universities from joining?


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