The Boston College Libraries have become the newest member of HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form.
HathiTrust includes material from the Google Books Library Project, an effort by Google to scan and make searchable the collections of several major research libraries, as well as material from the Internet Archive, a non-profit that offers free online access to historical digital collections, in which the Boston College Libraries have been an active participant since 2007.
HathiTrust allows users to do full-text searches of all of the books in the repository, as well as download material that is in the public domain. It also allows visually impaired users at member institutions full access to all of the material in the digital library, for use with assistive technology. HathiTrust currently includes more than 9.6 million digitized texts, of which more than 2.6 million are in the public domain.
Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than fifty partners. It serves as a trusted repository, guaranteeing the long-term preservation of the materials it holds while providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. It also enables members to provide enhanced discovery and access services to their users.
HathiTrust was named for the Hindi word for elephant, hathi, symbolic of the qualities of memory, wisdom, and strength evoked by elephants, as well as the huge undertaking of congregating the digital collections of libraries in the United States and beyond. HathiTrust is funded by the partner libraries and governed by members of the libraries through an Executive Committee and a Strategic Advisory Board. More information on HathiTrust is available at: http://www.hathitrust.org/.