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HathiTrust: Introduction to HathiTrust

This resource guide provides information on how to access and use the HathiTrust Digital Library.

What is the HathiTrust Digital Library?

HathiTrust is a nonprofit online digital repository that contains more than 19 million books, journals, dissertations, government documents, and other resources.  It is a collaborative project between academic and research libraries and related institutions, founded in 2008, that aims to preserve such resources while enhancing their availability and accessibility for the purposes of research.

HathiTrust Main Webpage

Mission Statement: The mission of HathiTrust is to contribute to research, scholarship, and the common good by collaboratively collecting, organizing, preserving, communicating, and sharing the record of human knowledge.

HathiTrust is a particularly useful repository for older sources that have moved beyond copyright, as well as documents from the U.S. government, which are always considered to be in the public domain.  Because of this, it serves as a valuable resource for History majors looking for primary sources, Literature majors looking for original texts, and Political Science majors looking for government documents.


HathiTrust includes full text access to any item within its collection that was published before 1926, is currently in the public domain, or is available under a creative commons license.  Full text is not available for items that currently remain under copyright, although HathiTrust's catalog entries for such items includes links to their WorldCat entries to facilitate their ordering through Interlibrary Loan (SUNY Potsdam Interlibrary Loan).

Full text HathiTrust items can be accessed and read online, but unfortunately, SUNY Potsdam users do not have the capability of downloading them.

HathiTrust items do not have records in the SUNY Potsdam library catalog, and must be accessed only through the HathiTrust website, itself.



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