University of Florida Libraries join the HathiTrust Digital Library and expand digital access to orphan works
The University of Florida (UF) George A. Smathers Libraries joined the HathiTrust Digital Library, a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future. There are more than fifty partners in the HathiTrust, and membership is open to institutions worldwide. Currently, the HathiTrust has 8.9 million digitized volumes.
Books that are in-copyright whose owners cannot be identified or located to give permission for digital access are called “orphan” works. As a result of its participation in the HathiTrust, users of the UF Libraries soon will have access to digital versions of some of the thousands of orphan works held in print by the UF Libraries that are also available in the HathiTrust Digital Library. These works will be fully searchable, viewable and accessible to UF students and faculty wherever there is a connection to the Internet, and of course, the print copy remains available if needed.
The UF Libraries join with the libraries at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin in an initiative to identify orphan works and attempt to locate the “parents.” The libraries will create a mechanism to publicize bibliographic information about the orphans to give their parents the opportunity to claim them and make informed decisions about the status of their work in the HathiTrust. It is likely that the majority of orphans exist without a surviving person or entity to claim ownership. If owners do not come forward, the digital versions of these scholarly works will be made available through the HathiTrust and each library will provide its users with access to the ones that match its print holdings.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to expand access to our print collections by linking to the digital versions of orphan works available through HathiTrust,” said Dean of University Libraries Judy Russell. “We already offer our users digital access to the out-of-copyright books in HathiTrust, and this initiative allows us to offer access to thousands of in-copyright titles as well.”
Orphan works from the HathiTrust will be available to users of the UF Libraries later this year. These are scholarly books of interest to students, faculty and researchers, not commercial works.
For more information, contact Barbara Hood @ 352.273-2505 or email@example.com.