This grant funded a planning project to evaluate the quality of digital objects in the HathiTrust Digital Library. The planning project utilized HathiTrust as a large-scale exemplar of the challenge of providing assurances about the quality and usefulness of documents in a preservation repository. The focus was on what stakeholders and users might accomplish if content housed in a repository such as HathiTrust were certified and branded as capable of performing certain functions.
The primary goal of the Foundation-supported planning project was a grant proposal to the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support the testing of content certification methodologies designed in the planning project. An additional benefit of the planning project was a clear sense of the value that the HathiTrust certification processes will add to the processes that Google, OCA, CDL, and other HathiTrust suppliers have in place for the same content.
In the new environment of large-scale digitization and third-party content aggregation, certification of repositories alone may be insufficient to provide assurances to stakeholders and end users on the quality of preserved content. Quality assurance in large-scale digitization projects is of increasing concern within the preservation community, particularly among those who are actively involved with research libraries that are contributing books and serials to a variety of projects. HathiTrust served as a large-scale testbed for resolving a set of challenges that face all preservation repositories, particularly those that include digitized book and serial volumes.