Iowa State University Joins HathiTrust , the Largest Digital Library in the World
The Library at Iowa State University has become the newest member of HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form. This is a powerful resource that greatly enhances access to digitized literature, especially in the humanities and social sciences.
Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than sixty partners.
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.
Also, because HathiTrust's collections are digitized, special access is available for users who are blind or visually impaired.
HathiTrust serves a dual role. First, 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, as a service for partners and a public good, HathiTrust offers persistent access to the digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading, and searching access to public domain volumes, and searching access to in copyright volumes. Specialized features are also available which facilitate access by persons with print disabilities, and allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into "collections" that can be searched and browsed.
HathiTrust 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 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: http://www.hathitrust.org/.
Information about recent activities is available at their December 2012 update http://www.hathitrust.org/updates_december2012. There is also more information about the HathiTrust Research Center in their video.