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HathiTrust Libraries Propose to Retain More Than 16 Million Volumes in Shared Print Program

by Lizanne Payne, Shared Print Program Officer

Fifty HathiTrust member libraries have proposed to retain more than 16 million volumes for 25 years under the HathiTrust Shared Print Program. These volumes correspond to more than 4.8 million individual book titles held in the HathiTrust Digital Library (about 65% of all HathiTrust digital monographs). This is a significant step toward the primary goal of the program: to ensure that print copies of all HathiTrust digital holdings remain available to scholars for many years to come. The Shared Print Program is a core program of HathiTrust, supported by and benefiting all of the more than 120 HathiTrust members.

This milestone marks the fruition of a goal that began in 2011 when HathiTrust members voted to “establish a distributed print monograph archiving program”. After several years of planning that involved many member libraries, the HathiTrust Board of Governors approved the program agreement (MOU) and associated policies in June 2017 with a goal to have the Retention Libraries execute the MOU by September 30, 2017.

Our next steps in Phase 2 will aim to secure retention commitments for the remaining ~3 million HathiTrust digital monographs; explore tools for collection analysis, collection management, discovery and resource-sharing; and collaborate with the HathiTrust Federal Documents Program and other shared print programs.

With completion of Phase 1, the HathiTrust program will constitute the largest shared print monograph retention agreement in the world. The fact that 50 participating libraries -- almost half of all HathiTrust members – have offered to retain more than 16 million volumes is an important vote of confidence: these libraries trust HathiTrust’s ability to achieve success at scale and they value collaboration with their HathiTrust partners.

For additional information including some preliminary statistics, see the full report (PDF), visit our Shared Print website, or contact HathiTrust Shared Print Program Officer Lizanne Payne