Available Indexes

Constitutional Convention Ballot Proposals

The following proposals were considered at the Constitutional Convention (proposal submitters are indicated in parentheses).

Proposal 1 - Distributed Print Monographs Archive (HathiTrust Collections Committee) - PASSED

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HathiTrust Distributed Print Monographs Archive Proposal


August 23, 2011


Proposes establishment of a distributed print archive of monographic holdings corresponding to volumes represented within HathiTrust that is collectively supported by the HathiTrust membership.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall HathiTrust establish a distributed print monograph archiving program among HathiTrust member libraries?


Whereas, HathiTrust is a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is–collaboratively sustained and managed by a number of academic and research institutions; and

Whereas, HathiTrust dramatically improves access to these materials in ways that, first and foremost, meet the needs of its member institutions; and

Whereas, 74% of Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2010 U.S. academic library director respondents said that withdrawal of print books would be an important future strategy for their libraries if a robust digital alternative were available; and

Whereas, 84% of U.S. library directors indicated that they would be more likely to withdraw their print book collections if their library could provide guaranteed on-demand access to print versions through a sharing network such as HathiTrust; and

Whereas, HathiTrust is ideally situated to leverage the associated needs of print and digital collection management on behalf of its member libraries; therefore be it


Resolved, That the scope of activities supported through membership in HathiTrust shall include the creation and maintenance of a distributed archive of print monographs (hereafter, “the print archive”) corresponding to the content of HathiTrust’s digital collections;

Resolved, That the print archive shall be founded on formal agreements with print repositories (being member institutions or their affiliated agents) establishing commitments to retain copies of said print monographs under such conditions as will ensure their continuing availability to HathiTrust members and their constituents; 

Resolved, That HathiTrust will provide financial support to said repositories sufficient to secure and maintain such agreements;

Resolved, That HathiTrust will 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 said distributed print archive on behalf of HathiTrust members and their constituents;

Resolved, That said policies, operational plans and business model shall be approved and overseen through such standard governance mechanisms as shall be established for HathiTrust generally.


Presently, American research libraries sit at the cusp of the most profound change in their operations since the Second World War brought the nation’s national interest and the research activities of universities into close alignment. The development of the Internet resulted from research conducted on behalf of the Department of Defense at our universities, and the technology boom that this invention ushered into existence has, in turn, fostered the potential for ubiquitous of information access—access which now challenges the very foundation underlying the development of vast collections of printed literature in our nation’s libraries.

At many of our universities, the cherished goal in previous centuries was to build a facility capable of holding vast printed collections—collections that would attract scholars with the capacity to build a great research university, regardless of the proximity of the institution to larger population centers. This model for collection development and access, embraced in the face of a scarcity of information, is today becoming less and less relevant to our core mission. As resource sharing and the ability of our institutions to share information about our holdings solidified, reliance upon the broader network of research libraries to help deliver needed resources grew. The digitization and delivery of aggregated content is putting further pressure on the notion that information is a scarce commodity, especially for those resources that are widely accepted as residing in the public domain. As efforts to address orphan works advance, the ability of libraries to cooperatively share and manage resources will increase.

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.

Implications and impact

Empowering the Executive Committee to plan and implement a cooperative print retention program will allow HathiTrust to develop a sustainable business model for this new role, establish plans to coordinate print monograph retention commitments, and authorize the expansion of the cost model to accommodate this additional work.

The model should parallel other models employed in the development of print repositories: a long-term agreement with scheduled reviews to ensure continued value and relevance to the partnership.

The implications of such an agreement are clear. Transparency and durability will create trusted relationships and foster a shared approach to collection management; the assurance that reliable copies exist elsewhere in the research library ecosystem will allow other libraries to responsibly reduce the size of local collections to save and/or reallocate space, without risk of irretrievable loss to the collective collection; and decreasing reliance on print collections with fewer resources devoted to their care will allow libraries to direct a greater portion of their resources toward growing digital uses and more targeted curatorial management of the print collections.

Greater interdependence among research collections and a gradual reduction in overall redundancy will require careful attention to the nature of access and resource-sharing arrangements for materials for which there continues to be demand in original physical form.

One-time expenditures of HathiTrust (and/or external) resources will be used to support the planning process. Long-term costs will be determined, but it is anticipated that eligible storage facilities that make preservation commitments will be compensated at a level that partially subsidizes those institutions making retention commitments while being reasonable and sustainable for the partnership.

Savings may be obtained from locally-managed budgets at individual partner institutions, as disclosed retention commitments would empower partners to make informed decisions about local retention.


See Exhibit A

Submitted by

HathiTrust Collections Committee, on behalf of the HathiTrust Executive Committee

Ivy Anderson, California Digital Library, Chair

Sharon E. Farb, UCLA

Bryan Skib, University of Michigan

Claire Stewart, Northwestern University

Thomas H. Teper, UIUC, Executive Committee Liaison

Ann Thornton, New York Public Library

Bob Wolven, Columbia University, Strategic Advisory Board Liaison


Exhibit A: Why a HathiTrustDistributed Print Repository?

In March 2011, the Center for Research Libraries completed its audit of the HathiTrust digital repository. At that time, HathiTrust reached a significant milestone - it had been recognized as a Trusted Digital Repository by the CRL Certification Advisory Panel. By meeting the community-recognized standards in the Trusted Repository Audit Checklist, HathiTrust demonstrated to its constituents that the digital resources entrusted to it are secure.

With that announcement, the HathiTrust Executive Committee felt that the time was right for the organization to begin discussing how HathiTrust could leverage the work that individual institutions have already invested in storing low use print materials in an effort to build a distributed print repository - one that would assist us in our individual and collective efforts to provide access to materials, to preserve our shared cultural record, and to responsibly steward the resources entrusted to us. Because of our organizations' allied needs and the trust that exists as a result of HathiTrust's significant success to date, we can implement support for print storage with only marginal additional effort. Our membership can accomplish this, in part, by utilizing the resources that many of our institutions have already committed to the storage of print collections.

Starting with a limited but modestly expanding group of print storage repositories that will assume formal curatorial responsibilities for volumes that have a corresponding digital representation in HathiTrust's collection, the membership can develop a model that will firmly establish a national repository of print monographs. Through an expanded version of the cost model proposed for adoption in 2013, HathiTrust would compensate those repositories for their work. By working within the structure of HathiTrust, the modest cost for providing this storage would be further controlled as the membership of HathiTrust will collectively assume the cost for storing any one physical volume on behalf of the collective body.

While the context is somewhat different on each of our campuses, in an age of relative information abundance none of our members can afford to ignore the opportunities that the availability of a trusted digital repository presents and the reality that low use print collections will be increasingly viewed as a liability by the administrations that provide our respective funding. At a time when financial resources are at a premium, research libraries must prepare for the age of predominant digital access by establishing mechanisms to preserve and assert fiscally responsible stewardship what will, increasingly, be viewed as legacy print collections.

HathiTrust’s massive collection of digitized books and its aggregation of print holdings information from its Partners provide the opportunity to take a leadership role in securing an enduring commitment to maintaining a shared print collection on behalf of the research library community. Leadership and coordination in this effort are essential; without them, decisions about print retention will be made on a local level in response to local space and financial pressures, without commitments, and in a way that does not reflect the shared values research libraries hold manifested in our collective desire to preserve our printed literature.

With those shared values in mind, our membership should capitalize on the efforts already undertaken and leverage our unique capacity to build a distributed print repository of significant scope and scale—one that is trustworthy, that builds upon our developing community, and that will enable our member institutions to systematically plan for the coming shift from operational models based upon information scarcity to operational models that fully embrace the opportunities that a Cloud Collection presents while fulfilling our collective role as memory institutions.


Proposal 2 - Approval Process for Development Initiatives (California, Cornell, Columbia) - PASSED

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Approval process for development initiatives by HathiTrust partner organizations.


August 31, 2011


A proposal for HathiTrust to formalize a transparent process for inviting, evaluating, ranking and launching development initiatives from HathiTrust partner institutions.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall HathiTrust formalize a transparent process for inviting,evaluating, ranking, launching and assessing development initiatives (including the incorporation of existing services and tools along with those to be newly developed) from HathiTrust partner institutions?


Whereas HathiTrust desires to encourage the contribution of HathiTrust partners in order to leverage the expertise and resources of those partners, and

Whereas, Development initiatives should closely align with the published Strategic Goals and Objectives of HathiTrust, and

Whereas, Development initiatives have the potential to inform and influence the Strategic Goals and Objectives of HathiTrust, and

Whereas, Development initiatives endorsed by HathiTrust necessarily consume the finite human, financial and technical resources of HathiTrust and HathiTrust partners, therefore be it


Resolved, That HathiTrust formalize a transparent process for inviting, evaluating, ranking and launching development initiatives from HathiTrust partner institutions.

Resolved, That HathiTrust form a working group composed of members from multiple HathiTrust institutions to design this process.

Resolved, That the working group be charged by and report to HathiTrust Strategic Advisory Board.

Resolved, That the working group be formed within three months of approval of this proposal.

Resolved, That the working group bring a recommendation to the HathiTrust Strategic Advisory Board within three months of being formed.


This proposal lays out high level considerations for an approval process for development initiatives, but cedes the development of the charge to the Strategic Advisory Board.

High level considerations:

  • The process should be invoked only for those projects exceeding a certain level of resource investment (in time or dollars).
    • HathiTrust will establish and make public this threshold.
  • The process should be necessarily bi-directional.
    • Partner institutions will propose development initiatives based on institutional expertise, and HathiTrust will additionally name development initiative opportunities based on the needs of HathiTrust.
    • Obligations for both parties should be made explicit.
    • The ability of HathiTrust operational staff to both vet and support project proposals, based on available resources must also be considered.
    • Policy issues will need to be identified and resolved before any development initiatives begin.
  • Statements of interest should include the following high level information
    • project description
    • statement of alignment with HathiTrust strategic goals and objectives
    • scope of work
    • schedule and projected completion dates
    • resource commitment, both financial and in kind
Implications and impact

Empowering the Strategic Advisory Board to oversee the design of this formal process will ensure that review of development initiatives is closely aligned with HathiTrust Strategic Goals and Objectives, and will create a feedback loop to inform future strategic direction. It is recognized that this proposed process will require an allocation of HathiTrust operational staff resources.


See Attachment A: Example Considerations for an Approval Process for Development Initiatives by HathiTrust Partner Organizations

Submitted by

University of California, Cornell University, Columbia University


Attachment A: Example Considerations for an Approval Process for Development Initiatives for HathiTrust Partner Organizations

This document is intended to 1) provide by example the types of issues that must be addressed for a successful partnership experience and 2) serve as a starting point for a committee designated by the HathiTrust Strategic Advisory Board.

HathiTrust Perspective Questions and Information Needs

1) Project profile

a. Description

b. How does the proposal advance the HathiTrust strategic plan/mission?

c. How does it relate to the current HathiTrust roadmap?

d. What is the scope of the project--how big is it in terms of: potential impact on HathiTrust; resource requirements?

e. What is the timeframe in which the project is expected to be completed?

f. Who are the point people on this, the person who can sign an agreement, the person who is the technical manager and of course the developers?

2) Project management

a. Does the partner organization have the available, required resources to devote to this project and how can HathiTrust confirm or validate that?

b. How can progress of the project be determined? What is the required management structure for this?

c. What level of oversight and consultation does HathiTrust have to provide? How does this level of engagement relate to the current HathiTrust governance model?

d. Is a financial valuation (or other form) required?

e. Is the project physically hosted by HathiTrust or the partner during development? Afterwards?

f. What happens if the work is deemed unacceptable? What is the process for handling that? Should that be dealt with elsewhere? Should structured checkins be part of any development partnership that allow for potential problems to be spotted early on? For instance, maybe the proposal timeframe and scope of work needs to include code walkthroughs, demonstrations at pre-identified milestones/junctions.

3) Project completion

a. A variety of incentives could be designed to encourage and reward project submissions and subsequent completion, including but not limited to financial compensation and “points” that could increase voting or governance rights.

4) Project sustainability

a. What is the cost model? Does it differ from the current HathiTrust model? If so, how are replication and backup accounted for? Are the costs of infrastructure-related staff included?

b. Is it cost effective compared to other possible alternatives?

5) Policy considerations

a. Does the partner want to use this code elsewhere (e.g. in another application)? Does this matter?

b. Can the partner advertise the development collaboration? Is the partner required to?

c. Are there conflicts with any licenses covering the code?

d. Will this project require TRAC certification? If so, what would be the timeframe and potential costs?

e. Are there any third-party contractual requirements? If so, where does liability reside and what are the protections for HathiTrust?

f. Have the appropriate set of rights and permissions been acquired?

Partner Perspective Questions and Information Needs

1) Proposal requirements and suitability

a. What are the general candidate areas of interest on the part of HathiTrust? Are the Mission, Objectives and Goals sufficient (http://www.hathitrust.org/objectives)?

b. What is the size and scope of an acceptable project (how big or small does it have to be, measured in what way--FTEs, degree of criticality, etc.)

2) Proposal evaluation

a. How long does it take and how will submitting partners be informed of a response?

b. Is there an opportunity to respond to those evaluations and submit a revised version, in the way for instance that a program officer from a foundation will sometimes provide early feedback on a proposal?

c. Will there be a process for challenging a decision?

d. How will decisions be recorded?

3) Project logistics

a. Do developers need to work within the HathiTrust development environment?

b. Will code be submitted to the HathiTrust code repository?

c. Do projects need to be discrete units that can be handed over and dropped in?

d. Is this project hosted by HathiTrust or the partner?

e. Do there have to be milestone demonstrations along the way? To whom?

f. Are their restrictions on languages/technologies?

g. What are the mechanics of the process? Will there be a technical liaison from HathiTrust who works with a partner group on a project?

4) Project delivery

a. Who is responsible for user and technical documentation?

b. What are the expectations around testing (QA and user testing)?

i. Is this all on the partner’s side?

ii.What are the browser/OS application standards that have to be developed against?

c. How is a project evaluated upon completion?

d. How are tickets and bug fixes handled? Does the partner manage these going forward? Do the primary HathiTrust developers?

e. Are there TRAC certification implications?

5) Policy considerations

a. Can the partner advertise the development collaboration? Is the partner required to?

b. Are there licenses that the partner must use?

c. Are there usage restrictions of any sort that the partner must enforce?

d. Can the partner use this code elsewhere, in another application? Can the partner share it?

6) Sustainability issues

a. What cost model information needs to be supplied? What elements should be included (e.g. replication, backups). Should future staff and infrastructure costs be accounted for?


Proposal 3 - Governance Structure (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) - PASSED

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September 4, 2011 (revised September 16, 2011)


A proposal to establish an effective governance structure.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall HathiTrust establish a stable and effective governance structure consisting of a Board, a Board Executive Committee, and Board-appointed committees to ensure timely review of current issues, including periodic review of the cost model, and shall Hathitrust’s governance be based on a set of clearly articulated Bylaws and a process for amending them?


Whereas the HathiTrust membership has grown significantly since its founding; and

Whereas the current governance structure consists of an Executive Committee whose members derive only from the host and founding institutions, and Committees appointed by the Executive Committee; and

Whereas HathiTrust’s governance structure no longer reflects the composition of its membership; and

Whereas different members have different levels of investment, including both content and financial investment; and

Whereas HathiTrust’s governance is not based on a set of fundamental bylaws; therefore, be it



Resolved, that HathiTrust be governed by a Board of Governors serving 5 year terms. The composition of the Board shall be as follows: in recognition of their special roles in founding HathiTrust, providing significant leadership, and contributing and hosting digital content, the University of Michigan and Indiana University are each allocated one seat. The University of California system and the remaining institutions of the CIC as a consortium are each allocated two seats. In addition, six members shall be elected by the membership at large. The HathiTrust Executive Director shall have an ex-officio seat on the Board (serving in a non-voting capacity).  Be it further resolved that the “voting impact” of each of the Board members reflect the relative investments and contributions they represent, under a formula to be proposed by the Executive Committee referenced below, and endorsed by the membership within the first six months of the Board’s formation.
Resolved, that the six “at-large” members be elected for five-year terms, each with an opportunity to run for re-election to a second term.  Be it further resolved that the terms of service for at-large members be “staggered” by assigning five, four and three year terms to the first slate of elected candidates with the highest vote-getters being assigned to the longer terms and those receiving fewer votes slotted for the shorter terms.  Each of these “at large” board members shall then be eligible to stand for re-election to a second and full five-year term.   
Resolved, that the Board of Governors elect a five-member Executive Committee, empowered to act on behalf of the Board as specified in written Bylaws.
Resolved, that the Board of Governors be responsible for financial oversight and for making the HathiTrust’s cost and financial information transparent to its members.
Resolved, that the Board of Governors create committees and working groups to carry out the Trust’s work and to develop strategies and priorities.  And be it
Resolved that the Board of Governor’s develop a set of Bylaws and present it to the membership for ratification or rejection within six months of its formation.

The HathiTrust’s initial governance structure was developed to sustain the organization’s early years until a permanent structure could be put in place.  The Trust has reached a membership size and level of maturity to require governance that reflects the new membership base and its needs.

Implications and impact

A new governance structure will enable the HathiTrust to function on the basis of a set of ratified bylaws and through a body that represents the entire membership’s interests.



Submitted by

CIC University Librarians


Proposal 4 - U.S. Government Documents (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) - PASSED

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Expanded coverage & enhanced access to U.S. Government Documents


September 4, 2011


U.S. federal documents represent a significant resource for research and education.  The CIC’s initiative to digitize a comprehensive corpus of print documents is making significant headway, but an expanded effort is proposed. Further, problems with cataloging records and basic metadata do not provide sufficiently robust discovery to these complex resources.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall HathiTrust, through coordinated and collective action, expand and enhance access to U.S. federal publications including those issued by GPO and other federal agencies?


Whereas, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and its member libraries have digitized a significant body of U.S. federal documents; and

Whereas, HathiTrust now contains a sizable number (300,000) of U.S. documents, representing approximately 1/5 to 1/3 of all printed documents; and

Whereas, the majority of federal documents are in the public domain and can be fully revealed in Hathi; and

Whereas government documents are critical resources for scholarship and are significantly represented (and duplicated) in all academic libraries; and

Whereas digital surrogates of print documents offer notable opportunity for collective approaches to print retention and preservation; and

Whereas past cataloging practices and current metadata for government documents do not provide sufficient search/retrieval capability to match research needs; and

Whereas recent studies conducted by Ithaka S +R and Outsell (both for GPO) highlight the significant opportunities enabled by a comprehensive corpus and the challenges of inadequate discovery for these complex resources; therefore be it


Resolved, that HathiTrust facilitate collective action to create a comprehensive digital corpus of U.S. federal publications including those issued by GPO and other federal agencies.

Resolved, that the HathiTrust initiate and carry out a planning process to coordinate operational plans and a business model to further and sustain coordinated digitization, ingest, and display of U.S. federal publications including those issued by GPO and other federal agencies.

Resolved, that this operational planning and business modeling begin consideration of born-digital publications of GPO and other federal agencies

Resolved, that HathiTrust develop a process of catalog record review to ensure accurate and full display of U.S. federal publications including those issued by GPO and other federal agencies.

Resolved, that HathiTrust develop a process to implement enhanced access protocols to fully realize the potential of a comprehensive corpus of U.S. federal publications including those issued by GPO and other federal agencies.


The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to government information. Some 1230 libraries participate in FDLP to make federal publications accessible.

Collections in government document depository libraries represent a rich source of information.  Government publications provide historical context, inform policy, document critical trends, and also reflect the evolution of graphic arts and publishing.  The FDLP has moved to digital distribution of government documents.  Approximately 97% of new government publications available through the Program are disseminated electronically.  With programs to convert legacy print collections to digital form comes the opportunity to develop a comprehensive, network-accessible, digital library of United States federal publication.

 Several recent analyses endorse collective approaches to the problems of creating robust access to and sustainable preservation of federal publications:

  • A 2009 study by Ithaka S + R commissioned by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) underscored the importance of creating a comprehensively digitized collection of historic print document collections as a core resource for U.S. libraries. The report also notes that “once digital surrogates meet preservation thresholds, remaining preservation objectives for print format will require far fewer copies than are currently provisioned via regional libraries.”  The report further notes that current discovery systems do not effectively serve user needs for seamless and immediate access.
  • A 2011 study by Ithaka S + R commissioned by the Government Printing Office concluded that organizing an appropriate investment in digital preservation and integrity may require that digital and digitized collections be held outside the control of the federal government to provide a credible system for preservation and integrity of document collections.
  • A 2011 survey of user needs by Outsell commissioned by GPO documents strong responses in favor of the provision of more materials online, better finding tools, and the provision of more training and tutorials to facilitate the use of complex government information.

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (or CIC) has been leading a coordinated effort to digitize government documents and over 300,000 are currently available in the HathiTrust.  An additional 200,000 are available from other Google partners, and the project continues with an approximate target of digitizing a total of 1+ million print documents.  Reaching a comprehensive corpus of digital documents will require analysis in identifying target materials, coordinated digitization and deposit in Hathi, and investment to ensure full coverage and discoverability.

Discovery of government documents in HathiTrust is challenged by inaccuracies in government documents’ status in cataloging records and by metadata that inadequately represent the publications and their critical relationship to other resources.  Notably, government documents represent a type of material where changes in agency names and government process present serious obstacles for research.  Linked data strategies offer promise to express relationships between HathiTrust resources that would otherwise be hidden and can suggest additional terms or invoke automated queries to enhance searching. Another major use of government documents is associated with legislative activity.  Bibliographic records provide metadata for parts of the legislative process but lack the hierarchical arrangement that places the documents in a logical sequence and relationship.  Crowdsourcing mechanisms would enable expert user tagging of relationships and the documentation of full legislative history. 

The HathiTrust and its member libraries have potential to realize a comprehensive corpus of US documents and create the enabling discovery infrastructure to fully utilize these rich resources.

Implications and impact

A comprehensive digital archive of US documents in digital form offers significant potential for research and opportunity to reduce costs of collection management and access in libraries.  Safeguarding digital surrogates within a non-profit context will preserve the integrity of these valued resources. Strategies to enhance discovery offer models for access that may have applicability in other contexts.


A DPLA Beta Sprint proposal submitted by the University of Minnesota offers details of linked data and crowdsourcing  strategies to enhance discovery:  http://z.umn.edu/dplaumn

Submitted by

Committee on Institutional Cooperation University Librarians


Proposal 5 - Mission and Goals (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) - Referred to Board of Governors

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Mission and goals           


September 4, 2011


A proposal to broaden the stated mission of HathiTrust.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall the current subsidiary goals under the HT mission statement be broadened by the addition of a goal that looks beyond the current stated focus on building a“digital archive of library materials converted from print,” instead opening the door to consideration of the full range of “digital assets of intellectual value to our scholars and the academic research enterprise”?


Whereas HathiTrust has demonstrated remarkable facility to manage digital surrogates of print library materials; and

Whereas the membership of HathiTrust has grown to encompass universities with broad-ranging intellectual assets (including, but not limited to audio and video files, art slides, research data, museum specimens, born digital files, etc.); and

Whereas the HathiTrust members have the resources and capacity to collaborate on further infrastructure development, be it

Resolved that the stated mission of Hathi Trust be broadened by encompassing a second subsidiary goal that reads,  “To collaboratively develop cost-effective and meaningful infrastructure for ingesting digital assets of intellectual value to university scholars and the research enterprise.”

Resolved that the current fourth subsidiary goal be amended to read,“To build infrastructure that facilitates cost-effective and productive collaboration among partnering institutions to reduces the long-term capital and operating costs of securing campus intellectual assets.”



Implications and impact

It is recognized that the university of Michigan has considerable facility for managing digital resources converted from print, and in the short-term we would not want to slow the progress they are making to secure Google, Internet Archive, and locally created digital library resources.  In the longer term, however, we would encourage that the door remain open to addressing campus content needs, beyond “library materials converted from print.”  HathiTrust itself might lead in some of this longer term development, but in the short-term, and so as not to slow progress on the work of ingesting digital surrogates of library print materials, we encourage the development of infrastructure and communication strategies that stimulate and support partner collaborations that address the development of strategies for ingesting, securing and making accessible a broader range of campus content.


Proposed amended goals attached below

Submitted by

CIC member universities, as represented by their University Librarians


Mission Statement and Goals: CIC Proposed Amendment


The mission of HathiTrust is to contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.

Goals (current)

In this effort our goals are:

  • To build a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by a number of academic institutions.
  • To dramatically improve access to these materials in ways that, first and foremost, meet the needs of the co-owning institutions.
  • To help preserve these important human records by creating reliable and accessible electronic representations.
  • To stimulate redoubled efforts to coordinate shared storage strategies among libraries, thus reducing long-term capital and operating costs of libraries associated with the storage and care of print collections.
  • To create and sustain this “public good” in a way that mitigates the problem of free-riders.
  • To create a technical framework that is simultaneously responsive to members through the centralized creation of functionality and sufficiently open to the creation of tools and services not created by the central organization.

Proposed Amended Goals

  • To build a reliable and increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by a number of academic institutions.
  • To collaboratively develop cost-effective and meaningful infrastructure for ingesting digital assets of intellectual value to university scholars and the research enterprise.
  • To dramatically improve access to these materials in ways that, first and foremost, meet the needs of the co-owning institutions.
  • To help preserve these important human records by creating reliable and accessible electronic representations.
  • To build infrastructure that facilitates cost-effective and productive collaborations among partnering institutions to reduce the long-term capital and operating costs of securing campus intellectual assets.
  • To create and sustain this “public good” in a way that mitigates the problem of free-riders.
  • To create a technical framework that is simultaneously responsive to members through the centralized creation of functionality and sufficiently open to the creation of tools and services not created by the central organization.


Proposal 6 - HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee (Cornell, Columbia, California) - NOT PASSED

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HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee


September 4, 2011 (revised September 16, 2011)


A proposal to create a HathiTrust committee to review the implications and applicability of services, policies, and procedures developed by its members before they are adopted by the HathiTrust as a community service.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall HathiTrust create a committee to review and approve new policies and procedures developed originally by its members before they are implemented by HathiTrust for the use of the larger community?


The formal proposal, formulated according to Robert’s Rules of Order “Motions and Resolutions”http://bit.ly/rimjCS. Proposals must include a “Resolved” clause clearly stating the proposed action and any specific terms and nuances of the proposal.

Whereas, HathiTrust will continue to incorporate services and procedures developed by its individual members for the benefit of its members ; and

Whereas, as HathiTrust develops and grows, its policy and implementation decisions will have ever-greater impact on its members,  and

Whereas, HathiTrust’s progress will be enhanced if it receives regular and concerted input and review from HathiTrust members, and

Whereas, HathiTrust will fail if it implements programs that do not have the general approval and support of its members; therefore, be it


Resolved,That before the HathiTrust or any partner institution implements a new program or procedure on behalf of HathiTrust building on the HathiTrust repository, the HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee assesses and approves the development.

Resolved, That the goal of the HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee  is to ensure that HathiTrust partners have the opportunity to comment on the proposed implementation, particularly as it may affect them in each specific institutional context.

Resolved, that the HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee will develop a review process to gather information about new programs and processes and implement a comment period for HathiTrust members to identify and raise any issues that may be associated with the initiative.

Resolved, that the HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee can call on experts at member institutions on an ad hoc basis to assist in its review process.

Resolved, that the review process will only apply to initiatives that require assessment due to their broad appeal and potential local implications (e.g., Copyright Review Management System)  so that it will not inhibit the open sharing of creative tools and applications among members.

Resolved, That the committee be charged by and report to the HathiTrust Executive Committee.


Since the HathiTrust’s inception, the University of Michigan has initiated pioneering and visionary programs that build on the HathiTrust collection.  Examples include the Copyright Review Management System, which is opening public domain works to all HathiTrust members; its recently-announced Orphan Works project, which several HathiTrust members have since supported; and its progress in making the broad range of HathiTrust materials accessible to visually-impaired students at the University of Michigan.  Michigan is to be congratulated on each of these initiatives. 

As the HathiTrust grows, it is likely that other institutions will wish to develop programs and procedures that will take advantage of the repository. HathiTrust will want to continue to rely on innovation and experimentation that takes place at individual member institutions. At the same time, policies and practices that fit a specific institution’s technical, legal, and policy framework may not work for other HathiTrust members or may actually put them at risk. 

The basic issue that this resolution addresses is to put in place procedures that will ensure that the policies and practices adopted at member institutions or by the HathiTrust itself have broad applicability to other HathiTrust members.  It is critical that this review process is not perceived as a barrier to open sharing of creative tools and applications among members.

The review process will only apply to initiatives that require assessment due to their broad appeal and potential local implications (e.g., Copyright Review Management System). 

Consensus may not always be possible, but there should be mechanisms that will allow all HathiTrust members to understand and comment upon new HathiTrust implementations, and to suggest ways that implementation mitigate against any potential local harm on their campus.  The proposal requires that any major new initiative be vetted before a  HathiTrust Implementation Review Committee. By calling on the assistance of experts from individual campuses as well as allowing for public comment on each new program, the Committee will guarantee that all members are comfortable with the technical, legal, and policy implications of any new implemented program.

Implications and impact

If the policy is implemented, it may slow slightly the implementation of new programs and services.  Achieving consensus and acquiring feedback takes time.  The great benefit is that the resulting service is likely to be improved, and overall risks to HathiTrust will be reduced.  It complements Ballot 2, which recommends formalizing a transparent process for inviting, evaluating, ranking, and launching development initiatives from HathiTrust partner institutions. 



Submitted by

Cornell University, Columbia University, University of California


Proposal 7 - Fee-for-service Content Deposit - PASSED

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HathiTrust fee-for-service content deposit


September 4, 2011


A proposal for HathiTrust to have a fee-for-service model to allow contribution of content from non-partner entities.

Yes/No Formulation

Shall HathiTrust develop and vet a fee-for-service model to allow contribution of content from non-partner entities?


Whereas, HathiTrust has received many requests from institutions and organizations that wish to preserve digital content in HathiTrust without participating in or receiving the benefits of partnership, and

Whereas, the inclusion of rare or unique materials digitized by these organizations has the potential to increase the value and usefulness of HathiTrust to scholars and researchers; and

Whereas, HathiTrust has an existing fee model that is based on the size (i.e., in bytes) of data deposited; be it


Resolved,That HathiTrust develop and vet a model for accepting deposit of digital content from non-partner institutions.

Resolved, That proposals of deposit from non-partners be submitted to a formal review process, to be determined by the Board of Governors

Resolved,That fees for maintaining non-partner content, including fees related to ingest and basic infrastructure costs, be offered at rates approved by the Board of Governors.

Resolved, That non-partner content be made available to partners through the same services as partner-contributed content of equivalent formats and types.

Resolved, That non-partner content and metadata be held to the same validation and quality standards as partner content in HathiTrust.

Resolved, That the depositor be responsible for ensuring compliance with these standards or compensating HathiTrust for modifications needed for compliance.

Resolved, That non-partners be subject to the same legal conditions and terms of deposit as partner libraries, including the obligation to pay to sustain the content in the repository through a contractual period.

Resolved, That non-partners not receive any of the additional content access, governance, or participation benefits that come with partnership.

Resolved, That non-partners have the ability at any time, dependent on their institutional or organizational status, to become partners in HathiTrust and receive the attendant benefits.



Implications and impact

At a time when more cultural heritage organizations are digitizing selected important books and images from their collections, HathiTrust has an opportunity both to enrich its collections and provide a viable preservation home for this content. Implementing a model to accommodate this content with the same rigor and through the same mechanisms as partner content will make HathiTrust attractive to potential content providers seeking digital preservation services.

There will be costs to HathiTrust associated with implementing a fee-for-service model. These costs are primarily those associated with processing requests (e.g., guiding depositors through the deposit process, validation, and getting the relevant information to decision-making bodies). These are costs that can built into the costs of deposit. Approval of this proposal could thus benefit both depositors and partners, as it would provide HathiTrust the flexibility to admit content that would enrich its collections and add value to researchers, while at the same time accommodating the needs of organizations for cost-effective preservation and access for their digitized content.



Submitted by

University of Michigan