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Update on April 2011 Activities

May 13, 2011 Syndicate content

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New PageTurner

HathiTrust released new functionality for its PageTurner application in April, improving the way volumes in the repository can be viewed and used. Enhancements to the PageTurner include:

  • New views that allow users to scroll through volumes, flip pages similar to a physical book, and view thumbnail images of all pages in a volume
  • Reorganized and streamlined interface including prominent display of copyright status, and re-positioning of navigation features
  • Quick-copy links to volume pages in addition to permanent volume URLs
  • Improved user experience for full book PDF downloads

Development of the new functionality was initiated by staff at the California Digital Library (CDL) in HathiTrust’s collaborative development environment, and completed by staff at the University of Michigan. The Usability Working Group provided input and feedback on the interface design. The new views were built using Open Library’s open source BookReader. The thumbnail view was created specifically for HathiTrust by CDL staff, and has been incorporated as a standard feature in the core BookReader software.

We welcome comments and feedback on the new PageTurner. Please use the “Feedback” link that appears in the upper right corner of the page when viewing HathiTrust volumes, or email feedback@issues.hathitrust.org.

Support for Publishing

HTPub is an effort of the MPublishing Division of the University of Michigan Library to enable the use of HathiTrust as a platform for publishing open access electronic journals. It was first reported on in the Update on October 2010 Activities, and has been in planning stages over the winter. MPublishing recently hired a summer intern who will be working with Michigan staff to define requirements for archival objects produced through HTPub. Michigan is in the process of hiring two full-time positions to support the work of the initiative. More information is available on the HTPub project page.

MDL Images

John Butler of the University of Minnesota, John Weise of the University of Michigan, and project consultant Eric Celeste briefed CNI membership at the Spring 2011 Membership Meeting on the Minnesota Digital Library-HathiTrust image content prototype project. A summary of the project and slides for the presentation are available at http://www.hathitrust.org/mdl_images. Access to the images, now in the HathiTrust repository, will be enabled in late May or June. MDL has yet to draw conclusions regarding deposit of images in HathiTrust beyond the prototype phase. However, much has been learned throughout the project and HathiTrust intends to use the prototype and the experience gained and a base for developing general image ingest specifications that can be used for ingest of images from partner libraries.

Ingest Reports

HathiTrust has begun to post weekly reports on the ingest status of content submitted by partner institutions. The reports are available on the HathiTrust website, as well as a description of the information the reports include. 


Local Digitization Ingest

Michigan staff worked with Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Yale University, and the University of Illinois in April on ingest of locally-digitized volumes.  We expect to begin ingest of volumes from Madrid in May, as well as the full set of volumes from Yale (a sample was ingested in December).

Harvard University

Ingest of an initial set of more than 50,000 volumes from Harvard University was completed in April.

Working Groups


The Collections Committee continues to work on a series of recommendations regarding duplicate volumes in HathiTrust, coordinated print management, and responding to users requests to contribute volumes to the repository.  A draft discussion paper on duplicates will be shared with the Strategic Advisory Board in June for initial feedback.


The Communications Working Group finished a round of new partner webinars on April 12 and 15th. The webinars were well-attended and generated questions and rich discussion. The webinar slides and audio recording are available on the HathiTrust website. The working group also continued to craft a Facebook presence for HathiTrust, plan for a HathiTrust blog, and develop informational materials for use by partner libraries.


The Usability Working Group made significant progress in April in developing a set of personas for HathiTrust users and scenarios of use. To help inform this draft set, the group has been gathering real life use cases from user feedback, reference interactions with users, and uses of HathiTrust that have been posted in blogs and tweets. It has also been analyzing HathiTrust usage statistics for trends. The personas and scenarios are intended to inform development and policy-making surrounding HathiTrust applications and interfaces. The group anticipates having the draft set of personas and scenarios ready to share with partner institutions and other HathiTrust working groups in May. The personas will be refined over time as additional use cases are assembled and user research conducted.

The Usability Group is still accepting volunteers to join the new User Experience Special Interest Group (UX-SIG), reported in February’s update. Please contact Suzanne Chapman (suzchap@umich.edu) if you are interested in joining this group or have any questions about participation.

User Support Working Group

During March and April, the chair of the User Support Working Group chair coordinated with staff members at the University of Michigan who have been handling user feedback for HathiTrust, to configure a partner-wide issue tracking system using JIRA. User Support members began accessing the system in April and observing the preliminary processes that had been put in place. The working group will assume responsibility for responding to issues and directing feedback as apporpriate to partner institutions and working groups in May. Michigan staff will continue to play an integral role in addressing issues related to content quality and bibliographic metadata.


IMLS Quality Grant

The grant project team continued to refine definitions for the preliminary set of quality errors they have identified within volumes, and make improvements to the quality review application interface. The team continued to focus on dual review of volumes (two reviewers coding the same set of volumes) to identify problematic error definitions and refine descriptive wording to better illustrate each error type. The team also revised definitions for the scale of severity that is applied to errors, in order to improve inter-coder consistency. A second sample of 10 public domain volumes was reviewed by project staff to provide sufficient data for the project statistician to develop appropriate sampling techniques for Phase Two of the project: production level coding. The University of Minnesota will be joining in data collection efforts and will begin remote reviewing in the next two months after a series of training sessions with members of the project team. Background information on the project can be found on the grant projects page.

Development Updates

Bibliographic Data Management

The HathiTrust Metadata Management System team completed development of the core database system in April, as well as an API to export bibliographic data in XML format. Approximately 200,000 records have been loaded into the system for initial testing. The team is analyzing MARC records from current content-contributing partner institutions, received from the University of Michigan, looking for irregularities and performing a general survey of the record set. CDL staff continue to interview for a Principal Metadata Analyst. Details on the project are available at http://www.hathitrust.org/htmms.

Data API

Staff at Michigan have completed a rough draft of requirements for improved security in the Data API based on symmetric key cryptography. The draft will be made available for comment in the near future.

Development Environment

New MySQL servers installed in the development environment by staff at the University of Michigan have boosted performance of print holdings database operations by an order of magnitude. Similarly-configured servers will be installed in the production environment in May.

Full-text Search

Michigan staff began development work on priority features for full-text search as identified in the Full-Text Search Working Group’s report. The implementation team is focusing initially on relevance ranking of search results based on a combination of full-text OCR and bibliographic metadata, and on faceting of results using bibliographic metadata. The goal is to release significant new features that use the bibliographic data to enhance full-text search results by July 1, 2011.

Storage Replacement Cycle

All replacement storage equipment at the Michigan and Indiana storage sites is online and in use. The storage equipment that was replaced is being wiped for security purposes by staff at the University of Michigan and will be traded in for a credit on new storage that will be purchased in June 2011.


There were no outages in April.

Papers & Presentations

All HathiTrust papers, presentations, and reports are available at http://www.hathitrust.org/papers.

New Growth

Number of volumes added:

  April Total
Columbia University 3 58,483
Cornell University 40,729 311,110
Harvard University 52,709 52,709
Indiana University 893 183,881
Library of Congress 0 71,418
New York Public Library 0 258,691
Penn State University 18 39,016
Princeton University 8,810 237,034
University of California 41,512 2,408,727
The University of Chicago 0 5,172
University of Illinois 0 14,501
University of Madrid 15,486 103,797
University of Michigan 19,974 4,338,368
University of Minnesota 1,419 84,985
University of Wisconsin 10,602 454,332
Yale University Library 0 161
Total 192,155 8,662,385

Public Domain (~27%)

Total* 181,909 2,386,430

* This count includes volumes already in the repository to which rights holders have newly opened access

May Forecast

  • Continue work on the Data API security requirements
  • Continue work on full-text search enhancements