Wednesday, September 03, 2008


The University of Michigan has announced that their MBooks initiative has grown into a shared repository effort called the HathiTrust (pronounced hah-TEE).

HathiTrust was originally a collaboration of the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) to establish a repository for those universities to archive and share their digitized collections. All content to date has been supplied by the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, and Indiana University and Purdue University will soon be contributing their digital materials. 20% of its current content is open access and 80% is restricted. Don't look for a single search interface yet -- it's planned. As they say: "Good, useful, technology takes time.... and the strength and insight born of collaborative work."

The new HathiTrust initiative has been funded for an initial five-year period beginning January 2008, and is now open to other institutions. Partners will be charged a one-time start-up fee based on the number of volumes added to the repository, in addition to an annual fee for the curation of the data. They already support both open access and dark archive materials, and will also do so for new partners.

Their July 2008 monthly report gives a good sense of their activities. It is interesting to note that the only initial ingest workflow supported is the Google partner workflow. That's not too surprising since this work is based on the MBooks project developed in support of Google content workflows. That in and of itself ensures that there many institutions who'll be considering partnership.

This announcement is exceptionally exciting. I look forward to its development as a service.

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