Notre Dame joins HathiTrust

Author: Notre Dame News


The University of Notre Dame has become the newest member of HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in compiling a massive digital library. Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries is a sustaining member and will work toward digitizing its unique collections.

HathiTrust was launched in 2008 by the then 12-university consortium, known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), and the University of California system. It has grown to more than 50 partners including Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Duke and Johns Hopkins.

In the past two years, those partners have contributed more than 8 million volumes to the digital library, digitized from their library collections. More than 2 million of the contributed volumes are in the public domain and freely available on the Web.

HathiTrust serves first as a trusted repository, guaranteeing the long-term preservation of the materials while providing expert curation and consistent access to research libraries. It also acts as a bridge between partners and the public, offering access to the digital collections which includes viewing, downloading and searching.

Specialized features are also available which will help grant access to users who are unable to print, allowing them to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.

“Membership in HathiTrust is an exciting step for Notre Dame,” said Susan Ohmer, assistant provost and interim director of the Hesburgh Libraries. “We have joined a shared enterprise of leading academic research libraries committed to both preservation for and reliable access to the digital record of scholarship.”

HathiTrust was named after hathi, the Hindu word for elephant, which is symbolic of the qualities of memory, wisdom and strength evoked by elephants. Funded by partner libraries, the organization is governed by members of the libraries through an executive committee and a Strategic Advisory Board.

The initiative aims to preserve and provide access to published materials through a digital form to the general public.

Hesburgh Libraries possesses more than 3.3 million volumes and an ever-growing array of electronic periodical indexes and full-text documents. It has renowned special collections in areas such as Dante studies, Latin American, Spanish and Spanish Colonial culture, Irish Studies, sports, and Catholic Americana which continue to attract scholars from around the world.

Contact: Carole Pilkinton,, 574-631-8405