Mellon grant aids researching criteria for digital libraries

A $49,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation will help find and test new procedures for validating the quality and usefulness of digital objects in the HathiTrust shared digital repository, according to principal investigator Paul Conway, associate professor in the School of Information.

According to Conway, “This planning project will lay the groundwork for significant research on new ways to conduct quality assurance in large scale digital repositories.”

The HathiTrust (pronounced HAH-tee trust) was launched at the University of Michigan in 2008 and has a current membership of 25 university research libraries. It was conceived as a way for universities to preserve and share their digitized collections. The repository already has more than 3.8 million digitized volumes, with millions more in the pipeline. The funded project will document the technical characteristics of HathiTrust content and establish stakeholder consensus on the multiple uses to which these digital volumes may be put, including on-demand printing, online browsing and reading.

The project is a collaboration between the School of Information, the University Library, and the partners of the HathiTrust, whose executive director is Associate University Librarian John Wilkin.

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