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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Libraries Join HathiTrust

By Jennifer Hoyt

ODU Libraries recently became a member of HathiTrust, a not-for-profit collaboration made up of more than 200 academic and research libraries. The group works toward collecting and preserving resources that contribute to scholarly research. The collection, according to the group's website, is "the largest set of digitized books managed by academic and research libraries."

HathiTrust's goal is to increase availability to print collections along with services that focus on advanced computational research and greater access to U.S. federal publications.

The membership gives Old Dominion University faculty and students access to more than 17.4 million digitized items, including over 8 million unique book titles and nearly 500,000 serial titles.

For ODU Libraries, this collaboration benefits the faculty and students who rely on materials used for teaching, learning, and engagement, while strengthening a network aimed to support the necessity for knowledge.

James Rhoades, ODU Libraries' social sciences librarian, led the effort to join the collaboration. "As a new member of HathiTrust, ODU Libraries has increased our digital content and gained the ability to download thousands of full-text out of copyright materials," he said.

ODU history professor Michael Carhart sees significant value in the Libraries' HathiTrust membership, especially as digital access to materials remains vital to his role at ODU.

"The number of rare books in European libraries that are viewable online is growing. But there are many books that are digitally available only through HathiTrust," Carhart explained. "The digital humanities resources that have become accessible online during the past decade have reshaped my scholarship."

Considering that HathiTrust follows a practice of fulfilling scholarly interests, rather than corporate missions, Rhoades believes the membership will offer the ODU community the opportunity to data-mine material at a low membership cost.

Carhart agreed, "With the decline of library budgets and the rise of digital humanities, HathiTrust is an important addition to ODU's knowledge base and crucial to its status as a research institution."

For more information regarding ODU Libraries' membership with HathiTrust and the digital resources available for research and academic exploration, please contact James Rhoades, social sciences librarian, at jrhoades@odu.edu.

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