HathiTrust Research Center News
"Who influenced Charles Darwin when he was writing his pioneering theory of evolution, On the Origin of Species? Indiana University (IU) professor Colin Allen wants to know, and the HathiTrust Research Center may now hold the answer. The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), a cooperative service of Indiana University, the University of Illinois, and HathiTrust, has expanded its services to support computational research on the entire collection of one of the world’s largest digital libraries, held by HathiTrust. HathiTrust’s collections include over 14 million digitized volumes, including more than 7 million books, more than 725,000 US federal government documents, and more than 350,000 serial publications. HathiTrust’s collections are drawn from some of the largest research libraries in North America, including Indiana University and the University of Illinois. Previously the HathiTrust Research Center supported analysis of only the public domain subset of the HathiTrust collection. HTRC is now the only place where scholars like Allen can perform text mining on the entire HathiTrust collection. In other words, researchers can now explore the entire collection, run an algorithm against all 14 million volumes, and make new connections and discoveries in the process. Text mining is crucial to Allen’s research. As a member of the IU Department of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine and IU’s cognitive science program, he is collaborating with informatics professor Simon DeDeo and graduate student Jaimie Murdock to research how what Darwin read influenced his theory of evolution. They can now use the HathiTrust collection, developing algorithms to analyze the books and journals Darwin himself read in the 1800s ..."