CRMS: An IMLS National Leadership Grant

CRMS Grant (December 2014 - February 2016)

In September 2014, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the University of Michigan Library a third National Leadership Grant in support of the CRMS project. The new grant has three objectives:

  1. Copyright determinations on works in HathiTrust published in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom (continuing the work of the previous grant in 2011-2014);
  2. A “Toolkit” for other institutions who wish to contribute to CRMS or develop a copyright determination project of their own; and
  3. A business plan to ensure that copyright determinations for HathiTrust will continue in a sustainable manner.  

The CRMS Toolkit will be a resource for institutions interested in establishing their own copyright determination projects. Elements currently planned for the Toolkit include:

  • an explanation of the CRMS research method;
  • specifications for personnel, legal expertise, metadata, and technical systems support;
  • an explanation of the CRMS interface and the infrastructure support it requires;
  • descriptions of training materials and best practices;
  • lessons learned regarding project management; and
  • a consideration of legal questions relevant to copyright determination.  

The primary audience for the Toolkit will be HathiTrust-affiliated institutions, but it will also include supplementary material for institutions at various resource levels.  

The work of CRMS has improved the quality of copyright information available to HathiTrust and increased public access to the world's literary, scholarly, and scientific heritage by identifying works in the public domain. For those books subject to copyright, an improved understanding of their rights status helps librarians and readers make reasoned choices about their access and use. Sharing the legal, administrative, and technical tools developed by CRMS will allow libraries to make better use of their collections and contribute to their shared mission of public service.

CRMS-US (2008-2011) and CRMS-World (2011-2014)

The first IMLS National Leadership Grant, awarded in 2008, made the creation of CRMS possible. During this period the CRMS project team developed an infrastructure for the project; established an efficient and reliable research process for US works; and collaborated with three partner institutions to make determinations for over 170,000 works, identifying  87,000 volumes as in the public domain. The CRMS interface and infrastructure used today are based on the development work of this period.

In the fall of 2011, the University of Michigan Library received a second National Leadership Grant from IMLS. The “CRMS-World” grant extended the project by three years in pursuit of two goals:

  1. the development and deployment of the CRMS-World system, and
  2. the completion of copyright determinations for works in HathiTrust that were published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 (building on the work done during the first grant period in 2008-2011).

Sixteen institutions joined the University of Michigan as partners during the second CRMS grant period, and over fifty librarians and library staff contributed reviews to the project. Their collective effort achieved two noteworthy objectives:

  • By January 2014, CRMS-US completed 300,000 determinations for US works in HathiTrust, identifying over 155,000 works as in the public domain.
  • By November 2014, CRMS-World completed 114,000 determinations for Australian, Canadian, and UK works in HathiTrust, identifying over 86,000 volumes as in the public domain. This work continues as part of the new grant for 2014-2016.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.


Page maintained by Melissa Smith Levine
Last modified: 09/09/2016