UT Librarians Work with HathiTrust Digital Library
October 26, 2018

Several University of Tennessee Libraries faculty members are lending their skills to the success of the cooperative digital library HathiTrust.

HathiTrust is a shared digital repository for content contributed by major academic and research libraries. The shared repository assures long-term preservation of the partner libraries’ digital content as well as persistent access to the digital collections. UT Knoxville joined HathiTrust in 2014.

HathiTrust is funded by the partner libraries and governed by members of the libraries through its Board of Governors. In October, Holly Mercer, senior associate dean at the UT Libraries, was elected to the HathiTrust Board of Governors for 2019. Mercer currently serves on HathiTrust’s Program Steering Committee.

Also this month, Kris Bronstad, UT’s modern political archivist, was appointed to the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program for 2019. The program investigates the copyright status of works in the HathiTrust collection. Since the launch of HathiTrust in 2008, reviewers have determined that more than 320,000 items in the digital collection are no longer protected by copyright. Because those items have entered the public domain, they are now fully accessible to anyone who visits the HathiTrust website. Another library faculty member, Rachel Caldwell, has served as a copyright reviewer since 2017. Caldwell is UT’s scholarly communication and publishing librarian.

Bronstad and Caldwell are both reviewers for the HathiTrust US State and Local Government Documents project, which is currently evaluating the copyright status of monographs published by state and local governments between 1923 and 1977. Faculty members who participate in the Copyright Review Program devote three hours each week to the project for one year.

Gregory March, map and government information librarian, serves as the UT Libraries’ liaison to the HathiTrust US Federal Government Documents Program. The program seeks to expand and enhance digital access to US federal publications.

David Atkins, head of branch libraries and collection logistics, has been UT’s representative on Phase 2 of HathiTrust’s Shared Print Program, a cooperative collection management initiative. Under the Shared Print Program, the UT Libraries has committed to retain and preserve print copies of approximately 1,000 volumes held in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

HathiTrust hosts more than five trillion pages of digitized book and journal content. This includes more than six million public-domain volumes that are freely available to search, view, and download.