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"Mapping the Elephant" Member Webcast Series

Introducing Mapping the Elephant, a webcast series by HathiTrust members, for HathiTrust members, in which member presenters discuss an aspect of HathiTrust that has had an impact on their library, research, teaching, or institutional mission. With efforts spanning the preservation of and access to 17+ million digitized items to managing North America’s largest Shared Print Monograph Program, HathiTrust enables its members to do more and be more than any single academic or research library.

“The Elephant Test” refers to an idea or thing that is difficult to describe, but one knows it when one encounters it. As one story goes, six blind men have the task of describing an elephant. 

Mapping the Elephant image

Each touches a different part and describes the animal from that reference point: the trunk, a tusk, an ear, a leg, the stomach, and the tail. All parts of the same Elephant.

The Elephant is many things to many people, with each part constituting the whole. Mapping the Elephant allows you to hear what HathiTrust means to individual member libraries and how other members use or incorporate HathiTrust into their own institution.

If you have an idea for a topic to present, pass it along to Jessica Rohr, jbelle@hathitrust.org

Registration for Mapping the Elephant webcast series events is required and is open to both members and non-members. Webcasts will also be recorded and posted to the HathiTrust YouTube Channel.


Success with HTRC Workshop at McGill Library

Presenter: Joseph Hafner, Associate Dean, Collection Services, McGill University Library
Date: Wednesday, March 25, 2020: 2:00 p.m. EDT/ 11:00 a.m. PST
Register Online

McGill recognized an opportunity to provide its librarians with hands-on learning opportunities in text and data mining through hosting a HathiTrust Research Center workshop, which started as part of an IMLS grant. This talk describes the planning, funding, hosting, and learning outcomes. Hear about this benefit unique to HathiTrust member libraries and how the workshop helped the McGill library community learn about digital humanities research and how to use HTRC to answer research questions.

Past Webcasts 

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Public Domain of the 20th Century

Watch the recording: https://youtu.be/96EqY_F8lik
Presenter: Greg Cram, Director, Copyright, Permissions and Information Policy, The New York Public Library
Date: Wednesday, January 29

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.

Expanding Access through Collaboration: Stanford, Yale, and Copyright Review

Watch the recording: https://youtu.be/RA3VWxP_A28
Presenter: Daniel Dollar, Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources, Yale University Library
Date: Wednesday, February 12

Stanford and Yale teamed up in 2018 to support the HathiTrust Copyright Review Program by funding the ongoing work of a seasoned copyright reviewer. Yale Library had funding to support the program, but not staff with available time to contribute. A  colleague from Stanford noted they had a staff member 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 the staff member at 20 hours a week. This is a creative example of member institutions collaborating to advance the mission of HathiTrust.

Magnifying Value: A Look at HathiTrust Through a Preservation Lens

Watch the Recording: https://youtu.be/NjrLH_uK69M
Presenter: Andrew Hart, Preservation Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Date: Tuesday, February 25, 2020: 3:00 p.m. EST/ 12:00 p.m. PST

This talk will briefly describe 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, as well as overlap reposting to identify gaps for digitization. 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.

TRAIL: How a grassroots digitization effort became HathiTrust's 24th largest content contributor
Watch the recording: Coming soon

Presenter: Mel DeSart, Head, Engineering Library and Head, Mathematics Research Library at the University of Washington & current Chair of TRAIL; Sinai Wood, Government Documents Librarian at Baylor University and Coordinator of TRAIL’s Collections Working Group
Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020: 3:00 p.m. EDT/ 12:00 p.m. PST

The Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL) and its partners, one of which is HathiTrust, are working to make one category of underutilized gray literature – technical reports – much more accessible. This talk will describe advantages TRAIL has realized from partnering with a HathiTrust member, and how this digitization pilot evolved from its founding in 2006 to an ongoing member-based collaborative digitization and preservation effort that is currently the 24th largest content contributor to HathiTrust. 


Image: The life of an elephant, S. Eardley-Wilmot. London, E. Arnold, 1912.


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