Introducing HathiTrust’s New Strategic Vision

April 11, 2024

Today HathiTrust is excited to announce the release of its new Strategic Vision.

HathiTrust’s Strategic Vision

Approved by the Board of Governors at their last quarterly meeting, the Strategic Vision was created through an intensive, year-long effort with partners, Athenaeum 21, to imagine HathiTrust’s future. In its first 15 years, HathiTrust has collected, preserved, and provided lawful access to more than 18 million texts in more than 400 languages. Today it stewards the single largest collection of digitized texts created by and for the academic community. This Strategic Vision responds to the changed circumstances of its member libraries, the world, and HathiTrust itself, but builds on existing strengths to outline critical and meaningful work over the next three to five years.

Executive Director, Mike Furlough, says, “The insights we’ve gleaned over the past year have led us to put renewed emphasis on our stewardship of the collection, the foundation on which HathiTrust was built.”

The new strategic directions acknowledge this by prioritizing work in the following ways:

  • Enabling broader, more expansive access to the collection, including lawful access to copyrighted materials.
  • Expanding and diversifying the subject matter and sources of the collection, while reaffirming our focus on books and serial content.
  • Taking an ambitious, proactive approach to the stewardship of metadata and content, with investments in existing and emerging technologies to enrich the metadata, content, and user experience.
  • Adopting a renewed focus on the development of flexible and resilient technical and organizational infrastructure.

Guided by the Strategic Visioning Task Force, the final version was informed by the participation of hundreds of individuals from more than 140 member libraries and peer institutions.

The Strategic Vision emerged in response to the needs and hopes expressed by new and long-invested members,” says Claire Stewart, Co-Chair of the Strategic Vision Steering Committee and Dean of Libraries University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. “This clarity of purpose, along with HathiTrust’s sustained successes and long period of growth, positions us well to carry out the work detailed in our vision.”

As a critical part of the infrastructure supporting researchers and libraries, HathiTrust seeks to strengthen the overall network as it strengthens its own core. In the coming weeks and months, HathiTrust will set forth more detailed plans on how it will begin to implement the vision and directions.