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Katie Coffman
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KU Libraries joins major digital collection partnership

Thu, 01/17/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries has become the newest member of HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form.

Lorraine Haricombe“As a new partner in the HathiTrust Digital Library, we are able to provide our users access to a growing digital repository of collections of books and journals from some of the major research libraries in the United States,” said Lorraine Haricombe, dean of KU Libraries. “This aligns with our efforts to enhance openness in the scholarly communication ecosystem.”

Approximately 30 percent of the content — more than 3 million volumes — is in the public domain and freely available, and KU users have full viewing and download abilities for these materials. Students, faculty and staff with a current KU online ID now can download full PDFs of any of the public domain volumes held in HathiTrust. For more information about this resource, check here or look for the entry in KU Library’s A-Z list of databases.

The mission of HathiTrust is to contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating and sharing the record of human knowledge. These efforts will dramatically improve access to and long-term preservation of monographs in ways that meet the needs of the participating institutions.

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than 60 partners. The organization 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 full-text searching and access, and in some cases, viewing and downloading entire volumes. The Libraries also anticipates specialized features to be available that will facilitate access by those with print disabilities, and allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.

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 its website.

One of the top 50 libraries in the Association of Research Libraries by volumes held, and the largest library in Kansas, KU Libraries has more than 4.2 million print volumes in its eight campus locations. KU Libraries welcomes more than 1.6 million visits annually, and its users check out nearly 300,000 items and access more than 3.3 million articles online each year.



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