Monday, October 13, 2008

Google Books Libraries Establish HathiTrust Repository

LISNews reports that the University Libraries involved in the Google Books project have established a central repository for the 2 million digital books scanned thus far.

Called the
Hathi Trust, and with lead participants the Universities of Michigan and Indiana, the repository will serve as a backup should Google go out of business, or lose interest in the project (as Microsoft did with its Live Books project). "Hathi" is the Hindi word for elephant, who are famously good at remembering things.

A large
scale search feature is planned for the repository, as are a number of other intriguing features, including an API to allow partner libraries to integrate the collection into their local systems, access mechanisms for the disabled, the ability to publish virtual collections, the ability to add (or "ingest") non-Google content, and a public discovery interface.

As full-text search looks to replace the traditional library search methods over the next few years, it's great to have a non-corporate source for the search data. Congrats to the HathiTrust team!