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HathiTrust is an online library .

Concept and institutions involved

HathiTrust is designed as a bibliographic and full-text database, was initially mostly a backup of Google Books and was founded on October 13, 2008 by 12 universities in the Midwest and the 11 libraries in the University of California library network . At the end of 2010, HathiTrust joined other institutions from the USA, including the Library of Congress and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as the only European university to date. At the beginning of 2017, HathiTrust had 126 members, including several Canadian universities for several years.

In addition to digitized and bibliographic data from the Internet Archive and Google Books, HathiTrust also offers locally digitized works from member institutions. These are searchable for keywords . As of February 2017, there were fifteen million titles in the database, of which more than five million were in the public domain in the United States.

Rights management

Not everything that is in the public domain in the US is visible to non-US users. These can gain access with a US proxy, but in most cases, unlike in Google Books, the PDF download of entire books is only available to employees and students of the partner institutions.

Like Google Books, HathiTrust has a moving wall of around 140 years. In 2019, the digitized books from 1878 will be activated for non-US citizens. While Google Books mostly only grants access to European books up to and including 1909 to US citizens, they (or US proxy users) can normally view books up to and including 1922 in HathiTrust.

Since around 2016, US books printed after 1922 that are in the US public domain due to a violation of previously applicable formal requirements have no longer been released worldwide by HathiTrust. However, they can be downloaded using US-Proxy and uploaded to the Internet Archive . Due to the comparison of the protection periods , they are also not protected by copyright in most countries worldwide.

A very small part of the total stock, but a significant number of modern books, is freely available in HathiTrust, unlike in Google Books, due to the permission of the copyright holder.


The part of the name hathi (हाथी) is Hindi and means 'elephant'. It is an allusion to the memory of these animals, which is considered extremely good. The part of the name trust refers to the above outlined amalgamation of numerous teaching and research institutions and libraries.


The database is managed by Indiana University and the University of Michigan . Mike Furlough (then Dean of Research Communications at the University of Pennsylvania) has been Director of HathiTrust since February 2014.

User and access numbers

In 2016, more than 6 million users from a total of 236 nations accessed the HathiTrust database during almost 11 million "sessions". Around 49% of the users came from the USA, which means an increase of around 3% compared to the previous year, but the proportion of US users has been around 50% for years. The majority of the other users were distributed among the countries (in descending order) Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, India, France, China, Australia and Spain, although the bounce rate usually at least 10% higher for accesses from non-English-speaking countries than for accesses from English-speaking countries (it was particularly high for accesses from China at almost 60%).

Leader in traffic in 2016 was the book The surnames of Scotland, Their origin meaning and history of George F. Black, but with the majority of visits took place in the first 24 hours after it on the Scottish Genealogy website ScotlandsPeople been called was. In second place was the novel Quicksand by Nella Larsen , which, unlike the front runner, has been among the 10 most-accessed books for several years.


  • Heather Christenson: HathiTrust . In: Library Resources & Technical Services . tape 55 , no. 2 , 2011, ISSN  2159-9610 , p. 93-102 , doi : 10.5860 / lrts.55n2.93 ( ala.org ).
  • Ryan, J. Cobine, Stephen Downie, Inna Kouper, Robert McDonald, Beth Pale, Beth Sandore Namachchivaya, Yiming Sun, John Unsworth: HathiTrust Research Center: Computational Access for Digital Humanities and Beyond . In: Proceedings of the 13th ACM / IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries . Association for Computing Machinery, New York 2013, p. 395-396 .
  • Marie Flüh: HathiTrust Digital Library . In: forTEXT. Research literature digitally . April 1, 2019 ( fortext.net ).

Web links

Commons : HathiTrust  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC, see entry in the English Wikipedia )
  2. a b Miguel Helft: An Elephant Backs Up Google's Library. The New York Times, October 13, 2008
  3. Launch of HathiTrust - October 13, 2008: Major Library Partners Launch HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository. Press release of October 13, 2008 on HathiTrust.org
  4. ^ Liene Karels: HathiTrust adds new members, goes global. ( Memento from June 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) “Feature” on Montage arts + creativity , University of Michigan Arts Portal, from November 2010
  5. ^ A b Partnership Community: Current HathiTrust Partners. List of partner institutions, HathiTrust.org
  6. February 2017 Update: 15 million items in HathiTrust! Newsletter on HathiTrust.org
  7. See https://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Wikisource:Google_Book_Search .
  8. Project will help researchers explore big data in HathiTrust digitized library , illinois.edu, February 23, 2016
  9. https://archivalia.hypotheses.org/83990 ; https://archivalia.hypotheses.org/84066 .
  10. Hathi Download Helper: Downloading Books from the Hathi Trust Library , July 5, 2016
  11. ^ Mike Furlough Selected To Be Executive Director of HathiTrust. Press release from February 25, 2014 on HathiTrust.org
  12. a b Angelina Zaytsev: 14 Million Books & 6 Million Visitors: HathiTrust Growth and Usage in 2016. HathiTrust / University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MI) 2017 ( PDF 190 kB)