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HathiTrust Digital Library: What Is HathiTrust?

A guide for students, faculty, and other users who wish to explore HathiTrust Digital Library for reading and research purposes

What is HathiTrust Digital Library?


What is HathiTrust?

Begun in 2008, HathiTrust Digital Library is first and foremost a digital preservation repository. It is also a highly functional access platform. HathiTrust provides long-term preservation and access to both public domain and in-copyright content, digitized books and other media such as journals scanned from the collections of major libraries and other sources. These include Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives. Today eighty academic libraries and other major research institutions are members of HathiTrust. Temple University Libraries joined in 2013.

What are the benefits to students and faculty of Temple's membership in HathiTrust?

Anyone with an internet connection can access most HathiTrust content in the public domain, currently about 3,000,000 titles published prior to 1924. By way of comparison, TULibraries owns in print approximately 250,000 of the public domain titles currently accessible in HathiTrust Digital Library. Benefits to Temple affiliates include the following:

  • Patrons who identify themselves as Temple affiliates will have access to a small number of additional public domain titles not otherwise accessible to the general public.
  • Temple affiliates can download for further analysis and manipulation HathiTrust titles in the public domain.
  • Temple affiliates can keyword search the entire corpus, both public domain and in-copyright titles, to facilitate information discovery. Metadata are far richer and more consistently applied than in Google Books, an important distinction and consideration for academic researchers. HathiTrust can therefore be used to facilitate textual analyses and other digital humanities projects.
  • Temple affiliates with a certified print disability can download over one million in-copyright titles, namely e-books owned by TULibraries in print.
  • All Temple affiliates, regardless of whether or not they are print disabled, are permitted access to in-copyright titles designated "Lost + Paid" or "Missing" in the Diamond catalog.