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HathiTrust Research Guide

Intro to HathiTrust Digital Library, its Print Disability Access Program, and its Emergency Temporary Access Services program

What is HathiTrust?

HathiTrust is a digital library of more than 17 million digitized items provided by over 60 major research universities.  HathiTrust's collections currently consist of the following:

  • 8,395,733 book titles
  • 469,385 serial titles
  • 6,080,661,650 pages
  • 779 terabytes
  • 206 miles
  • 14,116 tons
  • 6,725,336 volumes (~39% of total) in the public domain

Iowa State University became a partner institution of the HathiTrust in 2013. As a partner institution, ISU affiliated users of the HathiTrust can download entire copies of full-text materials contained in the HathiTrust collection that are in the public domain. Currently, 6,725,336 volumes (~39% of total) are in the public domain.

Another advantage to being a partner institution is ISU students, faculty and staff can save materials to their own collections for quick and easy retrieval.

  Fun facts:  

  • HathiTrust is spelled as one word, but you will sometimes find it spelled as two words.
  • The Hindi word Hathi is pronounced [hah-tee]. Hathi means elephant, which you will see on their orange company logo.
  • Why an elephant? According to the HathiTrust website, elephants are associated with the characteristics of good memory, wisdom, and strength.

HathiTrust logo

Welcome!  This Guide introduces the HathiTrust Digital Libary, providing strategies for effective searching of this vast resource, and describes the types of material you can expect to find here.

HathiTrust is a huge collection of over 17 million digitized full text books, journals, and other resources.  Their collections include both full text materials that are open access / out of copyright, and records for copyrighted resources.

ISU Library also participates in the HathiTrust Print Disability Access program, which allows our eligible users with print disabilities to access copyrighted digitized material from HathiTrust. Learn more about it on our Print Disability Access page! 

How to Search HathiTrust

You can read the Searching HathiTrust search guide below within the widget if you like, scrolling, reading, and choosing links to follow. If you wish to see a full-screen version of the Guide, simply move your cursor down towards the bottom of the widget box and a floating menu will appear. Use the "Enter full-screen" icon located on the right side of the floating menu to expand the guide. 

Login and Searching

Anyone can access HathiTrust and view its public domain resources at any time. Because ISU Library is a partner institution, the ISU community has access to additional privileges via login. For example, when you login to HathiTrust, you can can download public domain materials in their entirety should you wish to do so. All ISU faculty, staff and students have this capability.

All you need to login to HathiTrust is your ISU NetID and password. 

HathiTrust materials are discoverable in Quick Search and will show up as an Online Resource. You can also go directly to HathiTrust and search for materials or just browse the collection. Either way, viewing is simple and available to anyone but you will need to login in order to access those extended options, such as downloading text or to saving materials to your own personalized HathiTrust collection.

To learn more about searching the vast HathiTrust collections, see our "How to Search HathiTrust" section on this page. 

Your Librarian

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Susan A. Vega García
she | hers
Associate Professor & Librarian
150 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011
she | her | hers