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CIC Libraries Developing Research Services to Leverage HathiTrust Content

Aug 03, 2009
CIC Libraries Developing Research Services to Leverage HathiTrust Content
MONK text-analysis tools to be shared in secure online environment

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –The Library Directors of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation are taking the first step toward providing specialized research tools and services to leverage the vast array of content in the HathiTrust, the digital archive co-founded by the CIC members.

By fall, the suite of Metadata Offer New Knowledge (MONK) text-analysis tools and resources will be made available across the CIC universities, extending the reach of these tools as well as broadening the range of material available to help humanities scholars discover and analyze patterns in the texts they study. Currently stored on servers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, MONK tools and resources will be shared in a secure online environment.

“As our libraries lead the way in the evolution from print to digital formats, it will be important to provide the tools and resources needed to fully exploit the functionality of digitized texts we own or license,” said Paula Kaufman, university librarian and dean of libraries for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “By making it possible for scholars at CIC universities to act on the millions of volumes stored in large repositories such as HathiTrust, we are extending innovative opportunities to delve into cultural history as expressed through the published literature of our library collections.”

This partnership allies a previously existing successful project among CIC members with Hathi/CIC Shared Repository. The MONK Project is based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with significant contributions from Northwestern University.

“Over the last decade, many millions of dollars have been invested in creating textual corpora and data-mining tools to act upon them,” Kaufman said. “Those corpora, many of which will be represented in the Hathi/CIC Shared Repository, are large enough and rich enough to provide an exceptional basis for text-mining, and we believe that web-based text-mining tools such as those provided by MONK will make those collections significantly more useful, more informative, and more rewarding for research and teaching.”

A modest investment made by the Hathi/CIC Shared Repository will make the MONK tools compatible with a technology framework that allows individuals from each CIC university to securely log into shared applications using their campus identification and password.
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