HathiTrust Digital Library is a large-scale collaborative
Repository may refer to:
Archives and online databases
* Content repository, a database with an associated set of data management tools, allowing application-independent access to the content
* Disciplinary repository (or subject repository), a ...
of digital content from research libraries
including content digitized via
Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search, Google Print, and by its code-name Project Ocean) is a service from Google Inc. that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical ...
The Internet Archive is an American digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It provides free public access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, software applications/games, music, ...
digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries.
HathiTrust was founded in October 2008 by the twelve universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation
and the eleven libraries of the
University of California
The University of California (UC) is a public land-grant research university system in the U.S. state of California. The system is composed of the campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Franc ...
. The partnership includes over 60 research libraries across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is based on a shared governance
structure. Costs are shared by the participating libraries and library consortia. The repository is administered by the
University of Michigan
, mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth"
, former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817â1821)
, budget = $10.3 billion (2021)
, endowment = $17 billion (2021)As o ...
. The executive director of HathiTrust is Mike Furlough. The HathiTrust Shared Print Program is a distributed collective collection
whose participating libraries have committed to retaining almost 18 million monograph volumes for 25 years, representing three-quarters of HathiTrust digital book holdings.
In September 2011, the
The Authors Guild is America's oldest and largest professional organization for writers and provides advocacy on issues of free expression and copyright protection. Since its founding in 1912 as the Authors League of America, it has counted among ...
sued HathiTrust ('' Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust
''), alleging massive copyright violation. A federal court
ruled against the Authors Guild in October 2012, finding that HathiTrust's use of books scanned by Google
Fair use is a doctrine in United States law that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the intere ...
under US law. The court's opinion relied on the
In United States copyright law, transformative use or transformation is a type of fair use that builds on a copyrighted work in a different manner or for a different purpose from the original, and thus does not infringe its holder's copyright. T ...
doctrine of federal copyright law, holding that the Trust had transformed the copyrighted works without infringing on the copyright holders' rights. That decision was largely affirmed by the Second Circuit
on June 10, 2014, which found that providing search and
Accessibility is the design of products, devices, services, vehicles, or environments so as to be usable by people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" (i. ...
Visual impairment, also known as vision impairment, is a medical definition primarily measured based on an individual's better eye visual acuity; in the absence of treatment such as correctable eyewear, assistive devices, and medical treatmentâ ...
were grounds to consider the service transformative and fair use, and remanded to the lower court to reconsider whether the plaintiffs had standing to sue
regarding HathiTrust's library preservation copies.
In October 2015, HathiTrust comprised over 13.7 million volumes, including 5.3 million in the
The public domain (PD) consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. Because those rights have expired ...
in the United States. HathiTrust provides a number of discovery and access services, notably, full-text search
across the entire repository. In 2016 over 6.17 million users located in the United States and in 236 other nations used Hathitrust in 10.92 million sessions.
As of 2021, the copyright policy states that "many works in our collection are protected by copyright law, so we cannot ordinarily publicly display large portions of those protected works unless we have permission from the copyright holder", and thus "if we cannot determine the copyright or permission status of a work, we restrict access to that work until we can establish its status. Because of differences in international copyright laws, access is also restricted for users outside the United States to works published outside the United States after and including 1896."
PageTurner is the web application
on the HathiTrust website for viewing publications.
From PageTurner readers can navigate through a publication, download a
Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format developed by Adobe in 1992 to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. ...
version of it, and view pages in different ways, such as one page at a time, scrolling
Flipping is a term used to describe purchasing a revenue-generating asset and quickly reselling (or "flipping") it for profit.
Within the real estate industry, the term is used by investors to describe the process of buying, rehabbing, and sel ...
Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures or videos, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words. In the age of digital images, visual search engines and image- ...
Emergency Temporary Access Service
The Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) is a service provided by HathiTrust that makes it possible in certain special situations, such as closure of a library for a public health emergency, for users of HathiTrust member libraries to obtain lawful access to copyright digital materials in place of the corresponding physical books held by the same library through the
controlled digital lending
Controlled digital lending (CDL) is a model by which libraries digitize materials in their collection and make them available for lending. It is based on interpretations of the United States copyright principles of fair use and copyright exhau ...
''Hathi'', pronounced "hah-tee", is the
Hindi (DevanÄgarÄ«: or , ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in the Hindi Belt region encompassing parts of northern, central, eastern, and western India. Hindi has bee ...
word for "
Elephants are the largest existing land animals. Three living species are currently recognised: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant, and the Asian elephant. They are the only surviving members of the family Elephantid ...
", an animal famed for its long-term memory.
* Official press release from 13 October 2008.
2008 establishments in the United States
American digital libraries
Full-text scholarly online databases
Organizations established in 2008