November 01, 2011 at 10:28 AM
A “free sample issue” of the November 2011 Information Today which landed in my mailbox contains a story by Mick O’Leary about the HathiTrust: HathiTrust Shapes Libraries’ Digital Future. According to the article, the HathiTrust was started in 2008 by the Big Ten, the University of Chicago, the University of California, and the University of Virginia, which together form the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. More academic libraries have since joined the effort, as has the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.
The HathiTrust Digital Library now includes about five million books, many of which were digitized by Google.
Although considerably smaller than the Google Books collection, the HathiTrust Digital Library is also a good place to look for older materials: British and Foreign State Papers, laws of Utah, Islamic manuscripts from the University of Michigan’s collection… The Digital Library can be searched by author, title, subject, etc. Full–text searching is also available. Content is not limited to legal research materials, but includes cookbooks, 19th C. British and German periodicals, early histories of Mexico and Venezuela.
Many of the materials in the HathiTrust Digital Library are not protected by copyright, but HathiTrust efforts to digitize orphan works and make them available to the public have drawn the attention of authors’ groups. Information about the Authors Guild copyright infringement lawsuit against the HathiTrust and others is available at the HathiTrust website and the Authors Guild website.
Information Today is on LexisNexis and Factiva and some other University Library databases, but the November issue did not yet appear to be available as of this morning.