“The Dark History of HathiTrust” by Alissa Centivany

“The library community is very catty. Because they’ve been deprived of power for so long they engage in horizontal violence at the local level.” -Unnamed early HathiTrust participant as quoted by Centivany

“Dark” as in the “dark ages”–not that the early days of HathiTrust were nasty and brutish (though maybe that’s up for debate), but that they purposefully were obscured by a front of shared governance that was not actually there until later. Alissa Centivany captures the power dynamics of big library technology projects in all its rawness. For those of not in the CIC (the Big Ten to the rest of the world), this definitely sounds like what we imagine these things are like from the outside.

Centivany, Alissa. “The Dark History of HathiTrust.” In Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2017. doi:10.24251/HICSS.2017.285.