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HathiTrust Print Monographs Archive Planning Task Force

April 2014

In October 2011, HathiTrust members approved a ballot initiative to develop a Distributed Print Monographs Archive corresponding to volumes represented within HathiTrust, to be collectively supported by the HathiTrust membership. The initiative further specified:

  • That the print archive would be founded on formal agreements with the print repositories of member institutions or their affiliated agents;
  • That these agreements would establish retention commitments to ensure continuing availability of the archived holdings to HathiTrust members and their constituents; 
  • That HathiTrust would provide financial support to the designated repositories sufficient to secure and maintain these agreements; and
  • That HathiTrust would initiate and carry out a formal planning process by which to develop the necessary policies, operational plans, and business model required to establish and sustain a distributed print archive on behalf of HathiTrust members and their constituents.

Background

From its inception, HathiTrust has aspired to reshape the landscape of research libraries. This landscape includes the management of vast, highly-redundant collections of printed resources for which readily accessible digital instantiations are increasingly available. The aspirations of HathiTrust do not, however, change the shared values that guide our institutions. These shared values include a commitment to provide access to resources, to preserve the scholarly record, and to steward the resources – those both cultural and financial – entrusted to our responsibility.

With the advent of HathiTrust—a community-supported repository of digitized texts —the opportunity exists for our institutions to not only work together to profoundly influence the landscape in which we provide access to cultural resources but to profoundly influence the mechanisms by which we ensure persistence of the printed record.

The HathiTrust Print Monographs Archive project seeks to advance this effort by developing and implementing a new paradigm by which research libraries and other academic libraries can develop shared reliance on a scholarly print record that is collaboratively stewarded and supported as a public good.

Charge

Reporting to the HathiTrust Program Steering Committee, the Print Monographs Archive Planning Task Force is charged to develop plans for a Distributed Print Monographs Archive on behalf of HathiTrust, including the requisite policies, operational plans, and business model. The Task Force may work with one of more consultants or external advisors during the course of their deliberations, both to provide the team with support to develop requisite models and to analyze data. Issues to be addressed in the planning process include but are not limited to:

  • Exploration of the model needed to identify and preserve print resources, including consideration for the mechanism by which items may be contributed into a system of print repositories.
  • Qualifications of participating repositories, both as specialized facilities and as source institutions,
  • Analysis and identification of appropriate content for inclusion in the archive
  • Additional criteria for participation, which may include, but are not limited to:
    • Geographic distribution – the location of potential repositories should be geared to reduce risk to the collection due to regional disasters and reduce fulfillment costs by distributing source holdings,
    • Repository Type - the type of repository facility and its relationship within the developing cooperative storage model,
    • Breadth of Contribution – potential participants should be identified, on some level, by their potential to contribute large numbers of holdings to the repository network,
    • Institutional Commitment – participation will require willingness for participants to complete requisite tasks and provide desired services. Defining these activities will be important,
    • Other – the developing models will include criteria that are not, at this time, apparent. The Print Monograph Archive Planning Task Force should be willing to explore these issues in order to provide the PSC with the most complete picture possible.
  • Retention periods
  • Discovery, access policies and service models
  • Business and Financial model (including how current non-members might be incentivized to participate)
  • Roles and relationships among HathiTrust and other libraries and organizations engaged in collaborative management of print collections. Examples of institutions that might be included in this category would be those characterized as:
    • Non-member consortia (who may have members that are HathiTrust members themselves),
    • Independently chartered educational bodies that house print collections and are not members of HathiTrust,
    • Non-member national libraries and Federal agencies located in North America.
  • Other issues as identified by the task force

Membership

The task force shall be comprised of no more than eight members who together bring a variety of roles, perspectives, and expertise to the planning process, including:  representation from institutions that have print repositories as well as those which lack such repositories;  diverse geographic regions;  collection development and management expertise;  access and resource-sharing expertise;  in-depth knowledge of shared print discovery and disclosure practices;  and expertise in print preservation.  The task force should include at least one member from the HathiTrust Collections Committee;  one library director; and a liaison to the Program Steering Committee. Current members include:

  • Tom Teper, Chair (University of Illinois)
  • Clem Guthro (Colby College)
  • Robert Kieft (Occidental College)
  • Erik Mitchell (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Jake Nadal (ReCAP)
  • Jo Anne Newyear Ramirez (University of British Columbia)
  • Matthew Sheehey (Harvard University)
  • Emily Stambaugh (California Digital Library)
  • Karla Strieb (Ohio State)

Timetable

The task force is asked to submit a solid initial draft proposal in six months, and a final proposal in eight months.  It is anticipated that most work will be completed via conference call, but up to three in-person meetings may also be arranged.