Posted by: bluesyemre | April 15, 2015

Getting to 5 Million: HathiTrust’s Collection of Open Books


Just before the end of March we reached a significant milestone when we added the 5 millionth volume that is open for reading and downloading. Like any research library collection, HathiTrust is nothing if not eclectic, as evidenced by our 5 millionth volume, contributed by Ohio State University: A treatise on the disorders and deformities of the teeth and gums, explaining the most rational methods of treating their diseases by Thomas Berdmore (London, 1770). Berdmore was King George III’s dentist. According to his VIAF record he died at the age of 45 and his work was also published in Dutch. (Alert the medical historian in your family!)

Earlier this week, Rick Anderson offered in the Scholarly Kitchen a nice commentary on the significance of this event for the public at-large and for the library community. Rick sketches the broad outline of how we got here today, through partnerships with Google and among research libraries. I want to add that the HathiTrust collection is the product of hundreds, if not thousands, of people at our 105 member institutions, at Google, at Internet Archive, and many other content producers and distributors. This includes executives and front-line staff, librarians and publishers, technologists and end users. It’s an honor to be involved with it today.

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