HathiTrust is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via the Google Books project and Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries.
HathiTrust was founded in October 2008 by the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the University of California. The partnership includes over 60 research libraries across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is based on a shared governance structure. Costs are shared by the participating libraries and library consortia. The repository is administered by Indiana University and the University of Michigan. The Executive Director of HathiTrust is John Price Wilkin, who has led large-scale digitization initiatives at the University of Michigan since the mid-1990s.
As of January 2012, HathiTrust comprises over 10 million volumes, over 2.7 million of which are public domain (at least in the US). HathiTrust provides a number of discovery and access services, notably, full-text search across the entire repository.
In September 2011, the Authors Guild sued HathiTrust (Authors Guild v. HathiTrust), alleging massive copyright violation. A federal court ruled against the Authors Guild in October 2012, finding that HathiTrust's use of books scanned by Google was fair use under US law. The rationale used the "transformative" doctrine of fair use law, holding that what the Trust had done to give access transformed the copyrighted works and didn't violate the copyright owners' rights. That decision was largely affirmed by the Second Circuit on June 10, 2014, which found that both search and accessibility were fair use, and remanded to the lower court to reconsider whether the plaintiffs had standing to sue regarding HathiTrust's library preservation copies.
- Bosman (September 12, 2011). "Lawsuit Seeks the Removal of a Digital Book Collection". New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Albanese, Andrew (11 October 2012). "Google Scanning is Fair Use Says Judge". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, (2d Cir. June 10, 2014).
- "Launch of HathiTrust: Major Library Partners Launch HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository, HathiTrust Press Release, Oct. 13, 2008.
- Miguel Helft (October 13, 2008). "An Elephant Backs Up Google’s Library". New York Times.
- Heather Christenson (2011). "HathiTrust: A Research Library at Web Scale". Library Resources & Technical Services (American Library Association) 55.
- Matthew Miller, Gilok Choi, and Lindsay Chell. "Comparison of three digital library interfaces: open library, Google books, and Hathi Trust." In Proceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, pp. 367–368. ACM, 2012.
- Diane Parr Walker. "HathiTrust: Transforming the Library Landscape." Indiana Libraries 31, no. 1 (2012): 58–64.
- Official website
- Authors Guild statement regarding their lawsuit against Hathitrust
- HathiTrust adds new members, goes global (official press release from 13 November 2010)
- Major Library Partners Launch HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository (official press release from 13 October 2008)
- HathiTrust at Indiana University