Navigation

Help - Partnership

Who should become a partner?

Any research library with digital content or an interest in curation of digital content can become a partner. International partners are welcome. HathiTrust provides a platform for library directors looking for a straightforward solution to archiving their digital content. It also provides a solution to library directors who believe libraries have a responsibility to ensure their collections are broadly available and preserved.

What's the benefit to becoming a partner?

One of the great benefits to partners of joining HathiTrust is a no-worry, pain-free solution to archiving and providing access vast amounts of digital content. Your institution can rely on the expertise of other librarians and information technologists who understand your needs and who will address the issues of servers, storage, migration, long-term preservation, and access.

HathiTrust partners also have the ability to participate in the governance of HathiTrust, influencing policies and future directions.

Read more about Features and Benefits of Partnership.

Can institutions join as a consortium? What are the benefits?

Yes. There are two general scenarios for consortial memberhip. In the first, where a consortium can be represented as a single entity through its holdings, contracts (a consortium must be a single legal entity, having a single legal counsel and insurance) and authentication, it can join HathiTrust as a single entity. There are several advantages to this arrangement. HathiTrust gains efficiencies from dealing with one, rather than multiple entities. The consortium benefits by having a lower cost (as a result of being treated as a single entity), and gaining access benefits, as all institutions are considered to have the collective holdings of the consortium.

In the second scenario, a consortium acts as a collective of institutions. In this scenario, the partnership fee for each institution is calculated separately (the fee may be paid by each institution, or all fees may be aggregated and redistributed by the consortium), and all holdings are considered separately. As costs to HathiTrust are the same as dealing with many separate institutions, and because HathiTrust fees are designed to cover the base costs of the repository and partner work, there is no benefit we can give to consortia that join in this way. Nevertheless, institutions in this scenario may see benefits to acting as a collective of institutions. For instance, they might pool their votes in partnership dealings to have more impact, or consolidate work in ways that they gain efficiencies (such as preparing holdings data or digital content for submission to HathiTrust).

How does HathiTrust compare to Google Book Search?

HathiTrust complements Google’s massive undertaking to digitize the world’s library collections. While both systems offer digitized books via the Internet, it is likely that HathiTrust will provide some content Google will not, such as digital collections unique to each institution, works from institutional repositories, and native born-digital materials.

HathiTrust also provides a new platform for the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. The trust and reliance developed over decades in providing essential print collections will extend to HathiTrust as a valued source for scholarly materials.

What about the Internet Archive?

Some HathiTrust partners are also Internet Archive partners, and are depositing content digitized from their collections by the Internet Archive into HathiTrust. HathiTrust is concerned with curating the collections of research libraries, and brings together content from a wide range of digitization efforts.

Is this an appropriate role for research libraries?

Absolutely. Creating a digital research library for the research community is the responsibility of research libraries. Its development will build on the established leadership of research libraries in information management, advance their shared missions of serving the intellectual needs of their communities, and help them direct the future growth of the digital landscape.

The activities of research libraries in the next five to 10 years will define the role of libraries in the digital age. The library community must now ensure that these collections not only retain their research value in a digital platform, but also realize their potential as users adjust their information needs and expectations.

What are the alternatives?

Research libraries with digital content can archive and store their own content. HathiTrust, however, offers the expertise and infrastructure required to archive and preserve vast amounts of digitized materials, and in so doing, leverage the combined resources of a community with shared goals.

Are partners charged a fee?

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 those volumes. HathiTrust is a non-profit extension of the research libraries that founded it, and as such does not seek to profit from this work. We hope that by sharing infrastructure and strategies, even highly secure and expert curation can be a cost-effective option for participants.

What if I want to restrict access to some of the material?

Some institutions, attracted foremost to the archiving benefits of HathiTrust, may restrict access to materials they do not want made available via the Internet. In this case, HathiTrust can also function as a "dark archive” while ensuring long-term preservation. Nevertheless, we hope to provide access to as much content as possible.

What's the governance of HathiTrust?

HathiTrust is administered by an Executive Committee that meets monthly and is guided by a Strategic Advisory Board that meets quarterly and works on a variety of issues ranging from finances to development priorities. Please see HathiTrust Governance for more information.