HathiTrust has been certified as a trustworthy digital repository by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) through their rigorous Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification (TRAC) assessment program. Only a small number of digital repositories have been granted this certification.
As our reliance on digital resources grows, the need for “long-lived” collections of digital content does as well. Libraries have always been the institutions to provide access to and preservation of our shared knowledge. HathiTrust, a partnership of libraries, takes this responsibility into the realm of shared digital collections.
The in-depth preservation audit of HathiTrust began in November 2009 and was completed in December 2010. Certification is based on criteria from the Trustworthy Repositories Audit and Certification: Criteria and Checklist (TRAC), as well as additional criteria developed by CRL. The certification was guided by an advisory panel consisting of leaders from the CRL community in collection development, library administration, and digital technology.
The audit encompassed an extensive review of data and documentation provided by HathiTrust, conversations with key HathiTrust staff, and a site visit performed by CRL in May 2010. The full audit report is available on the CRL website. Documentation of HathiTrust’s compliance with TRAC can be found at http://www.hathitrust.org/trac.
Certification represents a major achievement for the partnership, which has defined itself by the transparency of its operations, the openness of its systems and services, and its reliance on broadly accepted standards and best practices for archiving and preserving digital content. Certification confirms HathiTrust on its trajectory to preserve and provide access to an increasingly comprehensive representation of the published record, and advances it’s strategic goal to stimulate coordinated efforts among libraries surrounding the storage and management of print collections.
HathiTrust commits to maintaining this important certification in the future, providing a reliable and valuable resource for its institutional partners and a public good to the broader community.