Millions of digitized print materials made available online

The HathiTrust Digital Library has temporarily expanded access to copyrighted works, which will allow faculty, staff, and students to have online access to a large portion of the University of Miami Libraries’ print collections. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami
By News@TheU

The HathiTrust Digital Library has temporarily expanded access to copyrighted works, which will allow faculty, staff, and students to have online access to a large portion of the University of Miami Libraries’ print collections. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami

Millions of digitized print materials made available online

By News@TheU
The HathiTrust Digital Library has expanded access to copyrighted works while libraries remain physically closed.

During the COVID-19 pandemic when most people are staying home to help mitigate the crisis, most libraries are physically closed, including all the libraries at the University of Miami.

The HathiTrust Digital Library, a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries, has temporarily expanded access to copyrighted works which will allow faculty, staff, and students to have online access to a large portion of the University of Miami Libraries’ (UML) print collections.

The digital library contains more than 17 million digitized items and includes non-fiction titles such as “The Garden City Movement” and “We Are The Hyphen In-between Muslim Arab-American Women and Education: Intersecting Gender, Culture, and Religion,” as well as fiction like “Tar Baby” by Toni Morrison and “The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu.

Elizabeth Gushee, the libraries’ associate dean for digital strategies, shared more about the HathiTrust Digital Library.

What is HathiTrust?

HathiTrust is a not-for profit collaborative of academic and research libraries working to preserve and provide lawful access to a great number of digitized items. The University of Miami Libraries has been a member of HathiTrust since 2011. HathiTrust’s services and programs include the following.

  • The HathiTrust Digital Library preserves more than 17 million items, provides full-view access in the public domain, and it allows searchability within items that are under copyright. The digitized materials in the HathiTrust Digital Library originated from the Internet Archive, Google, Microsoft, and through digitization initiatives at member institutions.

  • The HathiTrust Research Center enables scholars to perform computational analysis, such as text mining or visualizations, on the HathiTrust corpus.

  • The HathiTrust Copyright Review Program is made up of volunteers from member institutions who review the copyright status of works in the digital library. As a result of their work, thousands of texts have been identified as being in the public domain and are fully available in the HathiTrust.

What will this decision allow us to do that we could not do before?

COVID-19 has necessitated the physical closing of libraries. In response, the HathiTrust activated an Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) which has opened access to copyrighted works in their digital library to member institutions. This expanded access means that University faculty, students, and staff, across all campuses, now have access to more than 40 percent of UM Libraries’ print collection. Our library doors may be closed but UML’s online library is open.

What kind of periodicals and books will be included?

Faculty, students, and staff now have full online access to copyrighted works in the HathiTrust Digital Library that were previously restricted. This expanded access to texts is in addition to the more than 6 million public domain and Creative Commons-licensed works that were available prior to the enactment of ETAS.

How many other universities are part of this network?

The HathiTrust community is international and is made up of hundreds of research libraries, all working together to provide long-term access to the cultural and scholarly record. As part of UML’s commitment to this work, I am a member of the HathiTrust Program Steering Committee, and Amanda Moreno, archivist for the Cuban Heritage Collection, is a member of the Digital Collection Strategy Working Group.

Why is this important?

HathiTrust is important because of its mission to preserve and provide access to significant portions of the cultural record. The Emergency Temporary Access Service is important because it makes it possible to get books and other print resources in digital form during a time when physical access to these resources isn’t possible. UML is committed to providing the resources to support teaching, research, and scholarship. And, we are glad to be able to provide this service to our community.

Is this being offered on a temporary basis or will it be permanent?

The HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service is temporary. When UML can open its doors and begin lending books again, then ETAS will end. Faculty, students, and staff will, however, continue to have access to the enormous digital library of public domain works and the tools available through the HathiTrust Research Center.

Visit: https://www.library.miami.edu/about/hathitrust-access.html to read more about the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service and to login to the HathiTrust Digital Library.