Perspectives from HathiTrust

Reflections on the First HathiTrust Member Meeting

By Mike Furlough, Executive Director, HathiTrust

What's in your collection?

Are you familiar with the Collections area of HathiTrust?

There are currently 940 public collections created by users and library staff members at partner institutions, including several we have featured. HathiTrust collections provide a way to aggregate digital items related to a common theme, or associated with a given physical collection or location (for instance, the University of Michigan has created a collection of its Hatcher Graduate Reference reading room). Items can be added to a collection from HathiTrust full-text search results pages. Once they have been added to a collection, the full-text and bibliographic metadata of items can be searched independently of the larger repository. Items in collections can also be quickly copied to new or existing collections. These features make collections an easy way to refine a set of search results, share batches of items with others, or (in the case of the Michigan Graduate Reference collection), allow staff and users to search within specific collections to find the book with that one particular index or obscure term that they can pull from the shelf for more information.

When a simple search just won't do

By Heather Chistenson, HathiTrust Communications Working Group

With over 10 million volumes, and full text search free from commercial results ranking, HathiTrust is a go-to place for researchers who are serious about exploring the research library collection. Many technologists in our community who follow the HathiTrust Large-scale Search Blog are aware of the work that has been going on since full text search went into beta and then live on the HathiTrust site in 2009. We’re pleased to report that in 2012 HathiTrust continues to make progress with the implementation of more new advanced search features. With the leadership of Tom Burton-West at the University of Michigan, there have been two new feature releases in the past few months.

Ten Million and Counting

HathiTrust reached a major milestone on January 5, 2012, exceeding 10 million volumes in its digital collections. More than 2.7 million of these volumes are in the public domain, with viewing and downloading options available online. Statistics about the collections and a graph charting growth over time are available below (see also Statistics and Visualizations). We have also prepared a timeline noting significant events on our way to 10 million volumes. As of January 5, 2012, 23 of HathiTrust's 67 partners are depositing content in the repository. Details on contributions by institution can be found in our monthly updates. See also our News and Publications page for press releases, papers, presentations, and more about HathiTrust over the last several years.

Personas: Understanding HathiTrust Users

By Jenny Emmanuel, HathiTrust User Experience Advisory Group

The HathiTrust User Experience Advisory Group recently released a set of “personas” depicting typical users of HathiTrust Digital Library.  Personas are aggregate statements that display information about typical users and their needs.  They are a commonly used usability method that collects data from multiple sources, including website analytics, search logs, first person stories, researcher observations, and other methods which are then aggregated into a narrative to depict stories depicting who HathiTrust users are and how they used the information within HathiTrust. 

Is that the library in your pocket?

By Suzanne Chapman, Chair, HathiTrust User Experience Advisory Group

Looking for books to read on your shiny new tablet or other mobile device? This fall we officially released a mobile version of the HathiTrust Digital Library. The mobile site offers mobile-friendly access to key functionality including searching the HathiTrust catalog and reading HathiTrust "Full view" texts. Users from HathiTrust partner institutions can also download these "Full view" texts in PDF or ePub format to allow reading offline. Since the mobile interface is web-based, it works on all platforms and may be viewed either from mobile devices or from desktops and laptops. The interface has special functionality for tablets with two ways to read texts: either in the vertical scrolling format, or in a horizontal flip format.

Please give it a try and let us know what you think!

Many thanks to the University of Michigan Library User Experience Department for designing and developing this exciting new interface.

HathiTrust Constitutional Convention on Record

On October 8-9, 2011 delegates from across the U.S. and around the world gathered in Washington, DC for a landmark event, the HathiTrust Constitutional Convention. Our goals were to review the work and accomplishments of the now 3-year-old HathiTrust, and chart its future governance and priorities. Before the group were seven different ballot proposals that had been submitted by HathiTrust partners ahead of the meeting. On a beautiful autumn weekend, the delegates headed indoors, gathered around tables, and deeply engaged in the proceedings and discussion.

HathiTrust's Past, Present, and Future

Opening remarks given at the HathiTrust Constitutional Convention, October 8, 2011 (view presentation slides)
By John Wilkin, HathiTrust Executive Director

HathiTrust and Discovery

By John Wilkin, Executive Director, HathiTrust

It is a core tenet of HathiTrust that preservation cannot take place without access. The coupling of preservation and access is both philosophically and strategically central to HathiTrust’s mission, as awareness of the materials in our collections helps to create the value that leads to preservation. And because discovery is integral to access, HathiTrust has worked hard on a multi-pronged strategy for discovery.