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HathiTrust: Overview

How to Guide for using resources from the HathiTrust



Hathi (pronounced hah-tee) means elephant in Hindi, symbolizing memory, wisdom, and strength.

HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries preserving 17+ million digitized items. HathiTrust provides long-term preservation and access services to digitized content from a variety of sources, including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and member institutions. Items in the public domain are in full-view for everyone and items held in copyright are searchable. HathiTrust offers reading access to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law.

(Contents of this tab provided courtesy of Lora Lennertz, University of Arkansas Libraries.)

Search Tips in HathiTrust

HathiTrust offers two ways of searching their content.

  • A Full-text Search searches the full content of a book, including title, table of contents, the text itself, and any other sections.
  • A Catalog Search searches a catalog record that lists basic bibliographic information, like title and publisher, as well as information about a book, such as subject terms.

Each type of search offers a basic, Google-like keyword search option as well as an advanced search option.

Phrase Searching: Use quotes to search for an exact phrase: e.g., "occult fiction".

Wildcards: Use * or ? to search for alternate forms of a word. Use * to stand for several characters, and ? for a single character: e.g., optim* will find optimal, optimize or optimum;wom?n will find woman and women.

Boolean Searching: Use AND and OR (capitalized) between words to combine them with Boolean logic: e.g., (heart OR cardiac) AND surgery will find works about heart surgery or cardiac surgery

Finding HathiTrust Materials

Items made available through HathiTrust are available in several ways:

  1. Individual items are available through Worldcat Discovery and the various LibGuides;
  2. Go directly to HathiTrust and Log-in as a Guest.

Creating a Collection

Why Create a Collection?

HathiTrust collections provide a way to aggregate digital items related to a common theme.

Once items have been added to a collection, the full-text and bibliographic metadata of items can be searched independently of the larger repository. Items in collections can also be quickly copied to new or existing collections.

Creating collections is the starting point for using HathiTrust Research Center to perform text analyses of your chosen items.

What Comprises a Collection?

You may make a collection of:

a) Catalog records

b) Full-text items

c) Items with records but which are not available for viewing

Searching Books in the HathiTrust Interface

Look for the Search box at the top of the page. Once you have typed in a search term, you will see the results as in the image below shows an example of search results. You may search from this page as well

                 HathiTrust search and results screen


1. Keyword Search On the HathiTrust Digital Library homepage, enter one or more of your keywords to search. The "Full - Text" tab is automatically selected.
2. Advanced Search Use this to search by keyword, title, author, subject, ISBN, publisher, or language. Once you have used the Advanced Search,y ou will see your terms listed in area three 3
3. Filter your Search Here you will see any Advanced Search term or you may refine your results by subject, author, language, place and date of publication, format, and original location from the lists provided below
4. Availability

4a. is an example of a book still in copyright. You are unable to see the full text of the book but can search terms within it.

4b. is an example of a book that you may see in full-text.

Read online

Select Full View from your selected item from the list of results:

The sample record with the full view option selected

You will be presented with your viewer. The left column allows you to begin to download/print pages and search the full text. The controls at the bottom of the screen help you navigate the text. Hover over the buttons or use the arrow to see a fuller description of the action or select options.


The HathiTrust viewing screen