May 20, 2022

Preservation, Collaboration: Video Recordings of Two Recently Held “Mapping the Elephant” Series Webcasts From HathiTrust Now Available Online

Video recordings of two recently held HathiTrust webcasts were made available online earlier today. Both are part of the HathiTrust “Mapping the Elephant” webcast series.

BY THE WAY, the next webcast in the series,TRAIL: How A Grassroots Digitization Effort Became HathiTrust’s 24th Largest Content Contributor” will take place later today (March 10, 2020) at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Webcast #1 (Recorded February 22, 2020)

Magnifying Value: A Look at HathiTrust Through a Preservation Lens


Andrew Hart
Preservation Librarian
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


This talk briefly describes ways of understanding the value of HathiTrust from the perspective of a preservation program.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), HathiTrust’s intersection with preservation is significant and complex. Item-level conservation treatment and digitization decisions are often shaped by the availability and quality of an exemplar in HathiTrust. At a collection level, overlap data suggest UNC has 2.3 million print titles that are not yet represented in HathiTrust, ample opportunity to continue building a shared resource.

Among other tools, UNC plans to use the HathiTrust rights algorithm locally to narrow the population of 2.3 million into useful queues for digitization. As materials are digitized, UNC relies on HathiTrust as a preservation platform, allowing other uses for the local repository. These and other forms of preservation value depend on HathiTrust’s strength and sustainability as an institution. In this context, participating in copyright review and any collaboration that enhances HathiTrust for users are also part of a preservation strategy: derive preservation value by helping to create and sustain value for the enterprise as a whole.

Webcast #2

Expanding Access Through Collaboration (Recorded February 12, 2020)


Daniel Dollar
Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources
Yale University Library


Stanford and Yale teamed up in 2018 to support the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program by funding the ongoing work of a seasoned copyright reviewer. As noted on the program website, since 2008, more than 50 reviewers at 22 libraries have reviewed 600,000 items, determining that more than 320,000 are no longer protected by copyright and have entered the public domain.

Yale Library had funding to support the program, but not staff with available time to contribute. This dilemma was raised at an Ivy Plus Libraries’ Collection Development Group meeting in fall 2017, where a colleague from Stanford noted they had a staff member, Judy Marsh, who had extensive copyright review experience and was preparing to retire but wished to continue this work. That conversation led to a joint funding arrangement where Stanford and Yale are supporting Ms. Marsh to spend up to 20 hours a week to work for HathiTrust as an experienced, highly skilled copyright reviewer.

Since starting this arrangement in July 2018, Ms. Marsh has conducted 5,664 reviews with 3,577 items entering the public domain. This is a creative example of member institutions collaborating to advance the mission of HathiTrust.

First Webcast in Series

A video recording of the first webcast in the “Mapping the Elephant” series is also available online.


Hidden in Plain Sight: The Public Domain of the 20th Century (Recorded January 29, 2020)


Greg Cram
Associate Director, Copyright, Permissions and Information Policy
The New York Public Library 


The New York Public Library is working to create a list of books that are not yet in the HathiTrust repository but are likely to be in the public domain. By accurately transcribing and parsing data from copyright records, NYPL is making one of the best records of American creativity reliably searchable and machine-readable. This talk will describe how NYPL is building this list and reveal some recent insights gleaned from an analysis of the data.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.