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Announcing Phase 3 of the HathiTrust Shared Print Program

The HathiTrust Shared Print Program turns five this year and will launch Phase 3, the “Unique Non-Circulating Collection.” Building on earlier phases, which established initial retention libraries and focused on collection analysis, this phase will center on securing commitments on unique, non-circulating, single-part monographs held in our digital library and at member institutions.

Phase 3 will be an iterative effort that will start later this year by recruiting pilot libraries who currently participate in our Shared Print Program to commit unique content already in the public domain. These pilot libraries will act as partners with HathiTrust to help us better scope the service and define policies and procedures. Qualifying public domain titles will be held by 1-2 member libraries, are non-circulating or in-library use only, in special collections, or the retention library is willing to make them non-circulating. 

Our current program, which offers the benefits derived from lending, has the tradeoff of an increased risk of damage and loss. Phase 3 will transform how HathiTrust thinks about shared print by acknowledging and addressing the higher levels of risk associated with circulating shared print items.  HathiTrust was founded on the concept of preservation and the shared print program builds on that by linking the preservation of print and digital collections. The program will enhance HathiTrust’s ability to target preservation efforts through risk mitigation, look across the membership to identify unique items as a priority, and align with both our values and strategic directions.  

By focusing on unique content across HathiTrust’s member collections, this project also empowers our members by helping them to identify unique materials in their own collections. Together through a coordinated effort, HathiTrust libraries can guarantee print preservation of a large swath of at-risk public domain items.

Changing the landscape of shared print will not happen overnight. The creation of a unique, non-circulating shared print phase will take time to do correctly. Still, the long-term value for our members and for future scholars far outweighs the time and effort to overcome the challenges in order to revolutionize collections and shared print. 

For more information, please see our website at https://www.hathitrust.org/shared-print-program-phase-3.  



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