CRL Releases HathiTrust Audit Report

Friday, April 15, 2011
Marie Waltz -

The Center for Research Libraries has released the findings of its assessment of the HathiTrust ( digital repository. Given the investments CRL libraries have made in the digitization of books and serials, and the pressures to reduce the costs of physical collections, CRL endeavors to provide rigorous assessment of archiving services.

Based on extended analysis by CRL and its Certification Advisory Panel, CRL has certified HathiTrust as a reliable digital preservation solution. This certification indicates that CRL believes that the practices and services described in HathiTrust public communications and published documentation are generally sound and appropriate to the content being archived and to the general needs of the CRL community.

CRL conducted its audit of HathiTrust to obtain reasonable assurance that the services HathiTrust provides will meet the needs of CRL libraries. CRL’s HathiTrust certification report can help libraries decide whether and how to invest in the HathiTrust program. As HathiTrust can play an important role in enabling libraries’ transition from print to digital collections, hopefully that the Trust will continue to grow its collection of digitized books and serials, and will put in place new infrastructure, capabilities, and tools that will increase the value of the digital collection.

Certification of HathiTrust will remain in effect subject to periodic reviews by CRL. HathiTrust has agreed to address the issues identified by the panel to improve its CRL-assigned ratings and enhance its service to the CRL community. HathiTrust has also agreed to make certain disclosures to CRL periodically, to ensure continued certification.

The complete audit report includes TRAC scores and areas identified for improvement. Further information and documentation will be available to interested representatives of CRL libraries at the annual CRL Collections Forum webcast on Thursday, April 21, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Central Time.

The CRL Certification Advisory Panel was chaired by Martha Brogan of the University of Pennsylvania, and supported by Marie Waltz at CRL. CRL thanks HathiTrust Executive Director John Wilkin and Jeremy York, who fielded a multitude of CRL questions and requests for documentation throughout the course of the audit.