Announcing Zephir, HathiTrust’s New Bibliographic Metadata Management System

HathiTrust is pleased to announce the release of a new, state-of-the-art bibliographic management system for its 11-million volume digital repository. The new system, called Zephir, is developed and managed by the California Digital Library, and represents the first distributed development of a major repository component outside the University of Michigan.

“The release of Zephir embodies the deep collaboration that is at the heart of HathiTrust,” said Brian Schottlaender, chair of HathiTrust’s Board of Governors. “It is a tremendous example of the ways we are able to leverage the expertise of a broad range of institutions to achieve a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

California Digital Library (CDL) receives and manages bibliographic records in Zephir that are associated with digital items to be deposited in HathiTrust. Zephir stores all versions of submitted records and selects the “best” record when records for a given title are submitted from multiple sources. The records are then exported for use in HathiTrust’s catalog, data feeds, and APIs.

Laine Farley, Executive Director of the California Digital Library, noted that decades of experience managing bibliographic data for distributed campuses made the University of California system, and the California Digital Library in particular, well suited to this work. “Bibliographic metadata is critical to users’ ability to find and use materials, but managing this metadata is challenging. We knew we could make a strong contribution that would enhance the user experience and maximize the potential for use and enhancement of HathiTrust bibliographic records.” As one of the founding institutions of HathiTrust, Farley remarked, the California Digital Library is “proud to bring its expertise to further our collective work.”

HathiTrust’s membership continues to grow, with 89 institutions currently participating from the United States, Canada, and Spain. 11 new institutions have joined in 2013.

“As our partnership grows and diversifies”, Schottlaender said “we must maintain our ability to be flexible and make continuous improvements to our infrastructure and services. HathiTrust is committed to doing this, and to doing it together.”