HathiTrust Receives $1 Million Mellon Grant to Enhance Core Operations

February 7, 2023

HathiTrust, a member-based organization hosted by the University of Michigan, has received a 5-year, $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to fund a multi-year effort to strengthen its preservation and access mission.

The funding will initially finance three new positions to develop an integrated program of assessment, analytics, and portfolio management for the HathiTrust organization. “With these new capabilities in place, we can better match our resources to high impact work,” says Mike Furlough, Executive Director. “We will be able to grow our team and modernize our tools and processes, and create a more nimble and disciplined organization to meet our community’s strategic needs.”

In March 2020, HathiTrust developed the Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), permitting access to digitized materials for hundreds of academic and research libraries and their communities during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. “Emergency services increased demand for access, and confirmed the importance of large scale digitization and long-term digital preservation. From that experience, we learned that over the next several years we need to diversify the ways that libraries and users engage with HathiTrust. I’m grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support, which will allow us to better respond to those needs,” Furlough says.

Claire Stewart, Chair of the HathiTrust Board of Governors and Dean of Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says, “For 15 years, HathiTrust has served the academic community and the public with the operational infrastructure of a start-up — and done so heroically, at times. This grant will guide the organization into a new, more mature phase and help uncover the data and resources to transform future scholarship and digital access. I’m thrilled we will have this opportunity.”

The Mellon Foundation has made five other similar awards to a cohort of non-profit organizations in Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Building Resilience in the Digital Humanities Initiative. This recent funding builds on the initiative’s goal to create more adaptable organizations that carry on the important work of developing, preserving, and disseminating scholarly work in the humanities.