NEW: HathiTrust FAQ

What is HathiTrust?

HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of over 150 academic and research libraries, preserving over 17 million digitized items, digitized from the libraries of more than 50 academic and research libraries around the world, including about 7 million items open for use in the public domain (in Canada).

What does HathiTrust contain and how can it be used?

More than half of the collections are in English, but hundreds of other languages are represented, including large amounts of material in German, French, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. Subject areas include language and literature, the arts, social science, and science. Also included are 1.3 million U.S. Federal Documents, including the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, Bureau of Indian Affairs publications, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publications, and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and many other federal divisions.

Searches can be made of the entire repository or of a specific work, which can be useful when using a journal or series published over several years. Additionally, through a limited view HathiTrust provides the ability to search the fulltext of an additional 10 million titles that are in copyright, enabling researchers to pinpoint keywords and phrases within texts (the equivalent of Google Books but with a different set of results). Membership also allows York researchers to download an entire work that is in the public domain as a PDF file instead of retrieving one page at a time.

How do I access HathiTrust?

There are two ways to access HathiTrust:

  1. Login directly through the HathiTrust portal ( and select York University. You will then be asked for Passport York credentials.
  2. Search for the HathiTrust Digital Library in Omni and it will redirect to the HathiTrust portal.

Does York have access to copyrighted material through the Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS)?

York does not have access to ETAS since it would involve a complex protocol of limiting curbside delivery to items that are not represented in the HathiTrust repository. As a result, copyrighted material can be searched but is not available for fulltext reading or downloading.

What is the HathiTrust Research Center and does York have access to it?

York’s membership to HathiTrust gives access to the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), enabling non-consumptive research, where computational analysis is performed on text, but not where a researcher reads or displays substantial portions of the text to understand expressive content expressed within it.

The Research Center creates and maintains a suite of tools and services for text-based, data-driven research, such as HTRC Algorithms and Data Capsule, and engages in cutting-edge research on large-scale data analysis, allowing scholars to fully utilize content of the HathiTrust Digital Library. Learn more at

January 2021