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Members Govern HathiTrust

HathiTrust, as a co-managed and co-funded collaborative of academic and research libraries, relies on its members to govern its programmatic, financial, and strategic directions. Membership established the governance model in 2012 and comprises the following entities: 

The Board of Governors

The Program Steering Committee

The governing bodies operate under the HathiTrust Bylaws. In addition to the formal governing bodies, multiple working, advisory, and task-based groups further enable member libraries to participate in and guide the direction of HathiTrust. As necessary, members vote on various policies or changes using the weighted voting system established in 2011. Official Member Representatives may cast a vote during the board election perdiod.


The budget of HathiTrust is a separately maintained budget held within the University of Michigan budget system and managed by the Executive Director with oversight from the Executive Committee. Some additional financial components of the operation are represented by commitments in kind by participating members. The University Library’s financial procedures are subject to audits by the University of Michigan Office of University Audits.

Succession Plan

Support for HathiTrust resources and services is provided by the HathiTrust member institutions. The University of Michigan is the current administrative and legal host of HathiTrust,  and all employees of HathiTrust are employees of the University of Michigan; the University executes agreements and contracts for HathiTrust’s activities. Michigan is also the primary host of the infrastructure where digital content deposited by the partners is preserved and made accessible.  Funding to support this infrastructure comes from HathiTrust’s annual revenues, which is drawn primarily from annual membership fees.  Administration of the infrastructure is primarily performed by staff employed by HathiTrust, but with clearly defined and delineated support from the University Library and the University of Michigan.  Content is deposited by institutions on a perpetual, non-exclusive basis, but is owned by the depositing institution.  Hardware, software, and services purchased on behalf of  HathiTrust by the University of Michigan, or resources created by HathiTrust  are done so on behalf of the members with a commitment to constant sharing and transparency. Should the funding or organizational imperatives of the University of Michigan Library change, the Library will work with members of HathiTrust to develop a transition or succession  plan and will devote multi-year funding to support the transition to another host institution.


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