HathiTrust was established in 2008 with the mission to "contribute to the common good by collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating and sharing the record of human knowledge." The original HathiTrust libraries were partners with Google and/or the Internet Archive for the digitization of books in their collections. In part, HathiTrust was created so these libraries could work collaboratively to manage, provide access to, and preserve their digital assets in ways that Google could not. The primary goals of HathiTrust include:
New content is added to HathiTrust, daily. At this time, there is no convenient way to see lists of the new content. However, compressed files of the content that has been added are made available daily, displaying in reverse chronological order.
Additional resources and guides are available from HathiTrust.
Baylor University joined the HathiTrust in fall 2010, bringing that membership to a total of 52 partners. As of fall 2018, there are currently over 150 partners in the HathiTrust. As a HathiTrust partner, enhanced access to HathiTrust is available for Baylor students, faculty, and staff through their Bear ID and password. Although this level of access isn’t required to search HathiTrust or view the full text of public domain materials, additional functionality is available to users from partner libraries:
On September 12, 2011, HathiTrust was sued by the Authors Guild and others. The primary issue that brought about this suit at this time was the Orphan Works Project. The Association of Research Libraries has produced a document, "Resource Packet on Orphan Works: Legal and Policy Issues for Research Libraries", which provides general "information concerning orphan works, the University of Michigan’s Orphan Works Project, an FAQ, and a legal memorandum by Jonathan Band (policybandwidth) describing the legal issues associated with making orphan works digitally available." You can read HathiTrust's statement and their Authors Guild Q&A and keep current with the issue by checking their law suit information page. On October 28, 2011 EDUCAUSE Live presented the webinar, "What's at Statke in the HathiTrust Lawsuit?".
On December 2, 2011, the defendants filed a response to this lawsuit. The court has set a deadline of May 20, 2012, for the discovery phase to conclude, with trial scheduled for November if the case was not dismissed or settled.
On October 10, 2012, "the Honorable Harold Baer, Jr., . . .held that the HathiTrust’s mass digitization is fair use, in spite of the challenges raised in a lawsuit by the Author’s Guild and others." Read more from LJ INFOdocket.