Update on March 2013 Activities

April 12, 2013 Syndicate content

[Download PDF]

Top News

Program Steering Committee Nominations

HathiTrust has requested nominations from partner institutions for the HathiTrust Program Steering Committee (PSC). The responsibilities of the Program Steering Committee are described in Article VII, Section 3 of the HathiTrust Bylaws. Among the first areas of work to be undertaken by the PSC are the ballot initiatives passed at the 2011 Constitutional Convention, including expanding access to US government documents and creating infrastructure for shared monograph storage initiatives. Any member of a partner institution may submit nominations for the PSC until April 22 via the form at

HTRC Software Release

The HathiTrust Research Center reached a development benchmark in its release of production infrastructure to support data mining and textual analysis of volumes in HathiTrust.

The infrastructure includes an entrance portal, search and collection-building tools (using Blacklight), and access to SEASR analysis algorithms that can be run against the HathiTrust public domain corpus (more than 3 million volumes).  In addition to the production services, the HTRC offers a development “sandbox”.  The sandbox runs against non-Google scanned content (about 260,000 volumes) and provides a test-bed for interested researchers to experiment with writing their own algorithms for use in the HTRC infrastructure.

The production release concludes the first six month period in Phase 2 of development of the HTRC (Oct 2012-March 2014). Phase 2 will also include the development of the HTRC-Sloan-Cloud – infrastructure that will include additional mechanisms to allow secure, non-consumptive access to the entire HathiTrust corpus – and systems to accommodate the full 10.6 million HathiTrust volumes in the HTRC. For more information on HTRC services and testing of the production infrastructure, please join our HTRC-usergroup-l listserv at

Government Documents Registry Analyst 

HathiTrust is pleased to announce the hiring of Valerie Glenn to the Government Documents Registry Analyst position. Valerie has served as a Federal Depository Librarian at both the University of Alabama and the University of North Texas, and has managed a variety of projects and activities related to government documents. Valerie brings deep expertise to a two-year initiative to begin to construct a comprehensive registry of U.S. federal government documents. This work is part of a larger HathiTrust effort to expand access to US government documents. More information about the project is available at

HathiTrust Institution Survey

HathiTrust distributed a survey created by Syracuse University to gather information about institutions’ experiences with HathiTrust. The survey includes questions about print disabilities services, special collections, digital humanities, use of HathiTrust, and technical implementation issues. The survey is available at until April 26. We encourage all partner institutions to participate. Results will be summarized and made available. 

HathiTrust Board of Governors

During a March meeting, the Board of Governors reviewed the HathiTrust budget and planned a longer agenda for an in-person meeting in April.


Local Digitization

HathiTrust prepared a survey to send to institutions that have indicated they intend to deposit locally-digitized materials. The purpose of the survey is to gauge interest in, and aid in determining a development timeline for, enhanced tools to assist in validating and packaging materials prior to submission to HathiTrust. The survey will be sent out in mid April. HathiTrust also provided support to several institutions making preparations to deposit locally-digitized content. 

Working Groups and Committees

Working groups and committees in HathiTrust may have an operational or strategic focus. See for more information.


User Experience Advisory Group

The User Experience Advisory Group was pleased to welcome a new member: Matt Morgan, Director of the Website, NYPL Office of Strategic Planning.  The group continued to review elements of HathiTrust Web applications identified through user feedback and other means as being in need of improvement.

User Support Working Group

A summary of issues received by the User Support Working Group is given in the table at the end of the update.


Bibliographic Data Management

Staff from the California Digital Library (CDL) and the University of Michigan discussed implications of a new requirement that automated bibliographic rights determinations must occur at the University of Michigan rather than at the University of California. The teams expect to have revised requirements finalized in April. CDL staff are determining the impact that the change will have on the development timeline.

Copyright Review

A summary of the determinations from HathiTrust copyright review activities in March is given below. See CRMS-US and CRMS-World for information.




Public Domain Determinations

All Determinations

Public Domain Determinations

All Determinations


3,376 7,267 127,958 236,977


3,082 5,590 21,289 39,212


6,458 12,855 149,247 276,189


Staff at the University of Michigan discussed modifications that are planned to be made to the Collection Builder application in order to use it as a means to navigate from articles in a single journal to the journal’s “aboutware” (information about editorial boards, submission policies, etc.).  Staff also discussed issues of discovering journal aboutware through the HathiTrust catalog, full-text search and Collection Builder interfaces, and user pathways for navigating between journal-level catalog records, article-level catalog records, and aboutware. More information about mPach is available at

Development Updates

HathiTrust institutions performed the following work related to applications and Web interfaces:

Collection Builder 

Staff corrected issues in the display of authors and titles, added an option to remove collection items to a batch Collection Builder tool, and discussed ways of supporting very large collections. Staff also worked on the development of new features to be implemented as part of the Website Redesign (see below).

Digitization Sources

Staff planned a new back-end strategy for recording content digitization sources and associated access parameters, which are expressed in HathiTrust interfaces.

Full-text Search

Staff continued research to improve relevance ranking.


Staff re-engineered a tool for testing and debugging volume access controls. 

Website Redesign

Staff continued work to implement a redesign of HathiTrust Web interfaces, using a unified framework for application code. Release of the new design is expected in April. Other improvements to be made in conjunction with the redesign include:

  • Pagination of results in Collection Builder.
  • The addition of book cover thumbnails to Collection Builder and full-text search results.
  • Improved viewing interface in PageTurner and differential display of works depending on their reading order (right-to-left versus left-to-right).
  • Ability to cancel full-book downloads.

Screenshots of some of the redesigned pages are given at the end of the update. 

Storage Replacement Cycle 

HathiTrust began to install new and replacement storage hardware at the Michigan repository instance as part of its regular purchase and replacement cycle. Installation of new storage and retirement of storage to be replaced will continue in April.

Server Replacement Cycle 

HathiTrust purchased and received new production web servers and new development web and index servers to replace servers scheduled to be retired. The new development servers will make use of virtualization to improve resource utilization and availability, and to reduce acquisition and operational costs. In concert with this upgrade, which is planned for the second quarter of 2013, the Linux distribution in use for the entire server infrastructure is being changed from Red Hat to Debian, to provide better and more manageable infrastructure for deploying Ruby-based applications.


No outages were reported in March.

New Growth

As of April 1:

  March Overall
Boston College 337 2,179
Columbia University 0 65,033
Cornell University 1,563 418,525
Duke University 0 4,523
Harvard University 14 236,041
Indiana University 10 195,212
Library of Congress 0 89,723
North Carolina State University 0 3,196
Northwestern University 2,446 15,394
New York Public Library 8 259,680
Penn State University 10 45,425
Princeton University 1 251,701
Purdue University 10 44,692
Universidad Complutense 0 111,982
University of California 1,152 3,387,448
The University of Chicago 368 28,908
University of Florida 0 2,068
University of Illinois 5 109,311
University of Michigan 5,134 4,634,958
University of Minnesota 435 104,685
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 0 16,588
University of Wisconsin 752 555,707
University of Virginia 10 50,815
Utah State 0 117
Yale University 0 23,678
Total 12,255 10,657,589

Public Domain (~31%)

Total* 12,076 3,321,707

* Includes volumes opened through copyright review and rights holder permissions

Summary of Issues Received by User Support

Issue Type March February
Content 382 430


373 421

Non-partner Digital Deposit

1 1


8 6
Cataloging 87 82
Access and Use 149 96


77 51


16 5


0 1

Print on Demand

1 0

Inter-library loan

4 0

Full-PDF or e-copy requests

32 16


5 7

Data Availability and APIs

2 3

Reuse of content

3 3
Web applications 11 15

Functionality problems

4 3

Problems with login specifically

1 0

General Questions about Login

2 3

Partners setting up login

2 2

Usability issues

1 0

Feature requests

0 4
Partner Ingest 13 1
General 87 74


9 12


0 0


78 62
Total 729 698

Most Accessed Volumes


Title #Visits*

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey: over-all report (European war) 


Quicksand, by Nella Larsen


Investigation of Korean-American relations: Report of the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, October 31, 1978.


Perfume and flavor materials of natural origin, by Steffen Arctander


Godey's magazine, v.40-41 1850.


Bradshaw's handbook for tourists in Great Britain & Ireland, sec.1 1866.


McClure's magazine. v.12 1898/1899 Nov-Apr.


Shocking life, by Elsa Schiaparelli.


Noblesa catalana : cavallers y burgesos honrats de Rossello y Cerdanya, v.2., by Philippe Lazerme.


Coffee processing technology, v.1., by Michael Sivetz and H. Elliott Foote.


* Approximate due to a system configuration change.

April Forecast

  • Complete the website redesign, including testing and deployment.
  • Continue installation of new and replacement storage.


Website Redesign Preview
New Home page
PageTurner 1
PageTurner 2
Collection Builder
Full Text Search