Hathi Trust

By Ian Mathias

hathi

hathitrust.org

Hathi is the Hindi word for elephant—a creature known for its incredible power and remarkable memory. Such is the inspiration for hathitrust.org, a massive undertaking of more than 50 universities around the country, now including Johns Hopkins.

HathiTrust is a partnership of elite research institutions with a shared goal: digitally archiving the volumes of university libraries across the United States. The trust not only preserves the massive holdings but also serves as a single point of access to millions upon millions of university books, volumes, and other research materials.

At press time, the trust had accumulated nearly 8 million volumes of information, roughly 25 percent of which is fully accessible to the public through the website. The remaining materials have at least some cataloged information on where and how they might be accessed.

The Johns Hopkins University Libraries began contributing Hopkins’ extensive collections to the trust in late 2010. Aside from sharing information, Hopkins’ libraries will partner with HathiTrust to develop the infrastructure and storage systems required for an ever-increasing cache of research material.