Available Indexes

HathiTrust Collections Committee

Completed June 2019


The HathiTrust Collections Committee was a standing committee of the HathiTrust partnership, reporting to the HathiTrust Program Steering Committee. The committee was responsible for content and collection policies and strategy, making key recommendations about collection development for the HathiTrust corpus.


The Collections Committee engaged diverse representation from the membership. Its reports demonstrated the group’s strong and holistic commitment to the collection, both as a preservation model and as a usable service to scholars. Collections Committee members offered broad experience with, and thoughtfulness about, the HT corpus as a collection and a service. Key reports to PSC are listed below. 

Charge (July 2016)

The Collection Committee holds a fundamental and ongoing responsibility to advise the HathiTrust partnership on overall collection development and management policy and strategy development. In addition, the Committee is charged with advancing the following identified priorities[1]:

  1. Enhance the comprehensiveness of prioritized and distinctive collections.Through developing a HathiTrust collection development strategy and in collaboration with relevant HathiTrust stakeholders, groups and functions, including but not limited to:
    1. Determine key collection development opportunities for and critical collection gaps in the HathiTrust corpus (e.g., document types, subject and geographic areas, languages, as well as gaps that may need to be addressed in multi-volume sets or series, etc.
    2. Identify the opportunities and barriers to addressing those gaps (e.g., collection analysis and management data, sourcing options, contributor ingest processes) and recommend strategies to address them.
    3. Recommend policy and/or guidelines on duplicate holdings in the corpus (i.e., pertaining to retention, elimination, or ingest) that considers issues of costs, user experience, research value, and other factors.
  2. Inform collection management reporting and analytics planning and development.  Contribute to  requirements gathering for HathiTrust collection development and management reporting and analysis services, based on assessment of member needs and interests at the individual institutional level, as well as those informing collective collection strategies (e.g., Shared Print Initiative). This undertaking, which will help define needed tools and/or services, may include, but is not limited to:
    1. Analysis by subject, language, date, format, quality, or other scope, especially reports useful to describing the strengths and weaknesses of the corpus, whether to collection development staff or potential users;
    2. Citation and versioning needs in light of the inevitable mutability of content in HathiTrust (e.g., continuously-improved Google versions); and
    3. In the context of policy and/or guidelines, the measurement of the extent and characterization of duplicates in the corpus, with immediate focus on federal documents.
  3. Explore a potential expansion of HathiTrust collection development scope from “print” to “text.”  The boundaries between “book” and other textual formats are increasingly blurring and the interests in text for research purposes rising. Hence, the exclusion of text forms of non-print or non-published origins are becoming an increasingly artificial distinction from a user perspective.  In conducting this exploration and analysis, the Committee will:
    1. Propose an initial working definition of “text” for HathiTrust collection development purposes.
    2. Identify a “straw dog” slate of high priority text ingest candidates for purpose of analysis (i.e., broad categories of relevant information types other than digital surrogates of print).
    3. Conduct and synthesize an analysis of such potential expansion including costs, benefits, opportunities, and risks with regards to ingest, access, and preservation services; make recommendations based on findings. 

Responding to these priorities is expected to be a multi-year effort.  Areas of focus for 2016-17 will be established jointly by the Committee and the PSC.


In carrying out its work, the Committee will liase as appropriate with other HathiTrust committees, working groups, task forces, and program areas, as appropriate. These may include but are not limited to the Program for Federal Documents and Collections, Program for Shared Print Initiatives, Metadata Policy, Strategy, Use and Sharing Advisory Group (MUSAG), Quality Assurance and Standards Working Group, and Rights and Access Working Group.


The HathiTrust Collections Committee shall have eight to nine members.  Composition of the committee should strive to represent a balanced diversity of HathiTrust member institutions (size, type, and geography), richness of relevant  expertise (collection development and management, rights management, digital collections, digital scholarship, etc.), and proportionality of contributor interests.

Members are appointed for 3 year terms with the possibility of renewal.  The Chair of the Committee will serve for two years, with possibility for renewal. Terms run from July through June.

Review of Charge

This charge will be reviewed every two years to ensure alignment with the priorities advanced by HathiTrust governance. Earlier charge:

Original Collections Committee Charge


Final members and terms

  • Nicholas Wolf, Chair (New York University), 2016-2019
  • Heather Christenson (HathiTrust)
  • Marion Frank-Wilson (Indiana University), 2018-2021
  • Denise Hibay (New York Public Library), 2017-2020
  • Jeff Kosokoff (Duke), 2016-2019
  • Michael Neubert (Library of Congress), 2016-2019
  • Jo Anne Newyear Ramirez (University of California Berkeley), 2017-2020
  • Carmelita Pickett, Past-Chair (University of Virginia), 2014-2019
  • Kathryn Stine (California Digital Library), 2018-2021
  • Tom Teper (University of Illinois), 2011-2019
  • Wade Wyckoff (McMaster University), 2018-2021

Former Members

  • Ivy Anderson, California Digital Library, chair (2010-2015)
  • Kim Armstrong, Committee for Institutional Cooperation (2010-2012)
  • Sharon Farb, University of California, Los Angeles (2010-2017)
  • Mildred Jackson (Alabama), 2016-2018
  • Bryan Skib, University of Michigan (2010-2015)
  • Claire Stewart, Northwestern University (2010-2016)
  • Ann Thornton, New York Public Library (2010-2015)
  • Bob Wolven, Columbia University (2010-2012)

[1]  These priorities, affirmed by the PSC and Board of in Spring 2016, were determined through the analysis Collection Committee’s 2015 survey of the HathiTrust membership and resulting recommendations put forth by the Committee and the PSC.