University of Florida (UF) Libraries yesterday announced that it has become the latest academic library to join the HathiTrust digital repository—and the third library, after those of the University of Michigan (UM) and the University of Wisconsin (UW), to climb aboard UM's ambitious project to identify orphan works and make them available electronically.
UM first announced its orphan-works identification project in May and its intention to make full-text digital copies of those works available to the UM community last month. Orphan works are defined as in-copyright but out-of-print works for which the copyright holders cannot be identified. As out-of-print works, they can be relatively rare and hard to come by, so online electronic versions could vastly improve accessibility for scholars.
Last month, UM associate university librarian and HathiTrust executive director John Wilkin told LJ that other HathiTrust partners would be teaming up with UM to identify orphan works in a joint effort. "Since we often hold the same volumes, doing the work for one [institution] is doing the work for all," he said.