The majority of volumes in the HathiTrust Digital Library were digitized from a HathiTrust member library collection as part of the Google Library Project. When Google scans a book as part of the Library Project, it deposits a copy into Google Books and gives a copy to the contributing library. Many (but not all) libraries that participate in the Library Project then deposit their copy into HathiTrust. Because of this duplication, It is sometimes useful to check the Google Books copy of a HathiTrust volume. When should you do this?

1) If you want to download a Google-digitized public domain volume but aren’t able to log in to HathiTrust:

  • While anyone may download a single page at a time without logging in, HathiTrust users from member libraries may log in to quickly download entire public domain volumes that were digitized by Google. This is because HathiTrust restricts downloading to comply with library agreements with Google that require HathiTrust to prevent the bulk download of Google-digitized materials.
  • Google Books allows anyone to download an entire public domain volume from the Google Books site.  
  • For more information see Why isn't full-PDF download publicly available for all viewable volumes? in Hathitrust Help.

2) If the volume you want only allows limited (search only) access in HathiTrust. Sometimes a volume will be open for access in Google Books when it is restricted in HathiTrust. (Note the opposite can also be true, sometimes a volume with full view access in HathiTrust is restricted in Google Books). This can happen for a couple of reasons:

  • The rights holder (usually the author or publisher) signed an agreement to open the work (or part of the work) in Google Books but not in HathiTrust. (The opposite may also be true if a rights holder signs an agreement to open their work in HathiTrust but not Google Books).
  • While both HathiTrust and Google Books adhere to copyright law, they sometimes have slightly different criteria for making access determinations. This is rare, but it can be worth a check.

You can learn more about the differences between HathiTrust, Google Books, and Internet Archive here.

HathiTrust helpfully provides links from its Google digitized volumes to their duplicates in Google Books. This how to find the link:

  1. First, navigate to the volume’s HathiTrust book viewer interface and click “Get This Item” on the left-hand side of the viewer. 
  2. Then click “Find at Google Books” to be taken to the volume in Google Books.

Now you know how to find a a HathiTrust volume in Google Books!