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HathiTrust Digital Library

In January 2012, WU joined HathiTrust, a digital library partnership whose goals is to digitize, preserve, and increase online access to collections. Includes full text access to +6.5 million volumes in public domain.

What is in the HathiTrust?

Content includes materials from the Google Book Project, InternetArchive, and digtal collections from partner libraries. New content is added daily.

HathiTrust Statistics (as of December 12, 2019)

17,153,261 total volumes
8,291,100 book titles
459,740 serial titles
6,003,641,350 pages
6,569,862 volumes (~38% of total) in the public domain

View visualizations of HathiTrust
call numbers, languages, and dates


What is the public domain?

The public domain is generally defined as consisting of works that are either ineligible for copyright protection or with expired copyrights. No permission whatsoever is needed to copy or use public domain works. If the work was published in the United States prior to 1923, it is in the public domain. U.S. Government documents are also considered public domain. Rules on what is in the public domain vary from country to country. Definition adapted from University of California Copyright.

Public domain materials are available full text in HathiTrust and can be downloaded by WU users.

What is the HathiTrust Research Center?

The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) enables computational access to published works in the public domain and, in the future, on limited terms to works in-copyright from the HathiTrust. The HTRC offers a suite of tools for computational text analysis. For example, Author Search can provide text analysis and visualization of words in a text.

Below is word cloud of terms from The prose works of Jonathan Swift. London: G. Bell and sons, 1897-1908.

What is the HathiTrust?

The HathiTrust is a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form. Established in 2008 by 13 universities, it has grown to over 60 partners.

As of January 1, 2012, Washington University became a member of the HathiTrust. Full press release. With our membership, WU students, faculty, and staff can now download materials in the public domain (+2.9 million volumes) in addition to conducting full text searches of all materials in the HathiTrust Catalog.

HathiTrust FAQ

HathiTrust News and Publications