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HathiTrust Digital Library Partnership

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HathiTrust is a large-scale digital repository of content shared by more than 80 library partners. Its goal is to serve as both a secure and trusted repository of content, as well as a central point of access to that content. HathiTrust is currently administered by the University of Michigan, but overseen by a board of representative library partner members.

NYPL signed an agreement with the University of Michigan and announced the partnership in 2010. Currently, all NYPL items deposited in HathiTrust stem from NYPL’s partnership with Google for offsite book scanning, but we are working toward contributing locally scanned materials to HathiTrust in the future.

NYPL items being digitized via Google Books are chosen based on the following criteria, with few exceptions:

  • Item is in the public domain (e.g., published in the U.S. before 1923)
  • Item is in good enough physical condition to withstand scanning

NYPL catalog records that formerly linked to the Google Books version of public domain items have been updated to link to the copy stored in HathiTrust. NYPL also provides direct links from the catalog to matching HathiTrust items contributed by other partner institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many items has NYPL contributed to HathiTrust?

As of November 2013, NYPL has deposited more than 288,000 items in the HathiTrust Digital Library. The vast majority (89%) of these materials are fully in the public domain. The remaining 11% are predominantly serials likely to be in the public domain, but have rights situations that require further investigation.

How many HathiTrust items are accessible via NYPL catalog links?

As of November 2013, NYPL’s catalog features links to the full text of more than 473,000 items in the public domain. Note that in addition to items scanned from NYPL’s print holdings, this includes scans of materials from other institutions which match editions held by NYPL.

For example, see our record for A Treatise on the Theory of Alternating Currents, which links to copies supplied by the California Digital Library and the University of Wisconsin.

Can I search the full text of the materials in HathiTrust?

Yes, you can easily search through the full text of every item available in the HathiTrust at hathitrust.org. You may also limit search results to “full view” only, which is useful since some items are full-text searchable but cannot be openly displayed because of copyright limitations.

Can I download the full text of the scanned items?

Yes, anyone may download the full-text of public domain materials on-site at any of NYPL’s 92 branch and research locations. HathiTrust is currently unable to authenticate NYPL cardholders for off-site full-text downloads, but NYPL is working to enable this capability in the future.

What formats does HathiTrust offer for full-text download?

The most readily available format is PDF, linked from eligible HathiTrust items in the sidebar on the left. EPUB, the format designed to work best on e-readers, is also available for eligible items using the HathiTrust mobile interface (m.hathitrust.org.) Via the “get book” menu item in the mobile interface, there is an option to download either PDF or EPUB.

How can HathiTrust expand access to in-copyright works for blind and print-disabled NYPL patrons?

NYPL is actively exploring the potential for making digitized works more readily available to blind and print-disabled patrons, but has not yet arrived at any agreement that extends the limits of large-scale access we can provide.

For more information about these questions or others, please contact Deputy Director of Reference and Research Services Josh Hadro at joshhadro@nypl.org.

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