HathiTrust – Giving Birth to Collaboration / EDUCAUSE 2009, Denver

Presentation: Giving Birth to an Elephant: HathiTrust’s Story of IT, Libraries, and Uncommon Acts of Collaboration

Speaker: Robert H. McDonald, Indiana University

Resource: EDUCAUSE page for this presentation

About this post: these are my notes. Most of what I’ve written below consists of direct quotes or direct transcription from what was presented in the presenter’s slides.

HathiTrust is a shared digital preservation repository. Currently focused on Google Book content.

Two nodes are curently in operation: one in Indianapolis and one in Ann Arbor. They’re working on adding a third node.

Mission and goals: contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.

Governance model: executive committee, strategic advisory board, and coordinated input from certain groups.

Why was it hard (to get started with HathiTrust)? A BigHardAudaciousGoal was needed. Someone had to go first. Trust was needed, and cultivated. Community needed to be formed. It felt unnatural.

A clip was played of Brad Wheeler talking about HathiTrust.

Learning how to lead and how to follow is one of the great lessons from HathiTrust. – Brad Wheeler, Indiana University VP for IT, and CIO

Challenges – community building, trust, transparency, leverage, new collaboration math, and follow through. Examples of BHAGs were presented here from Amazon, Google, Ford, and JFK.

Key ingredients: when to lead? when to follow? Michigan was the lead on this, from Indiana’s perspective. Let’s roll with it.

HathiTrust NOW

  • 25 partners – here is the current list
  • successful ingest and millions of volumes online
  • mirroring and backup
  • rich access
  • collection builder – much like building a set of links in delicious.com

HathiTrust future

  • data API and other strategies for increased openness
  • internet archive/OCA ingest followed by misc. non-Google ingest
  • full text search over entire repository
  • extending out services through Shibboleth
  • creating research campus

HathiTrust growth trajectory – impressive growth projected

Collaboration – shared problems. Begin sharing actual development.

Building universal collections. What is a collection?

HathiTrust and the cloud – Shared print repository or repositories with all the best attributes (service, treatment, management)

Shared problems – how to define our requirements for satisfaction with each? what would the business model be? how would we build our local collections …?

Shared infrastructure – more refined bibliographic identification. Relationship of digital to partner print holdings.

HathiTrust case studies – case study library at NYU Library. ReCap storage facility in Princeton, NJ. HathiTrust digital repository. CLIR as broker and OCLC Research as agent.


Contact info on the speaker

@mcdonald on twitter:  http://twitter.com/mcdonald

Useful links

HathiTrust Governnance


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