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K-State Today

February 7, 2013

Kansas State University joins world's largest digital library

Submitted by Donna Ekart

Hathi Trust logo

Following efforts by K-State Libraries and several university departments, Kansas State University has become a sustaining partner and 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.

The primary benefits of this partnership to the university include cost-effective long-term preservation and access to some of the digitized content. Partners have full viewing and downloading abilities for works that are in the public domain, uncopyrightable works or works where Hathitrust has permission from the copyright holder. K-Staters may access HathiTrust records via the databases page on K-State Libraries' website and authenticating with a valid eID and password.

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.

"Joining HathiTrust as a sustaining partner is a great step forward towards meeting K-State 2025 goals," said Marcia Stockham, assistant dean at K-State Libraries. "The scholarship represented in the repository will be a great asset to scholars and students in a wide variety of disciplines. We're very proud to be involved in this partnership."

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than 60 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.

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.

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