This article is part 2 of a 4 part series on when to use the HathiTrust Digital Library, Google Books, and Internet Archive Books & Texts

HathiTrust Digital Library (

Content Summary 

  • Includes over 17.5 million digital volumes. 
  • With more than 4.5 million UC volumes, HathiTrust is the most comprehensive source of UC Libraries’ digitized library volumes.
  • HathiTrust Google-digitized volumes overlap with the same content in Google Books.
  • HathiTrust Internet Archive-digitized volumes overlap with the same content on
  • HathiTrust also includes unique content digitized by UC and other contributing members that is not in Google Books or

Content Sources

The vast majority of HathiTrust volumes have been digitized by Google as part of the Google Library Project. The University of California Libraries (and other libraries that partner with the Google Library Project) send their books to be digitized by Google, and once Google staff have scanned a book, they upload it into Google Books and provide a copy back to the originating library. Many of these institutions then choose to deposit this copy into HathiTrust for library-managed preservation, discovery, and access. This means that the majority of HathiTrust volumes have a duplicate scan in Google Books. 

Not all of HathiTrust’s 60+ contributing members participate in the Google Library Project -- some have partnered with the Internet Archive’s digitization program and/or digitize their own content locally. Internet Archive is the second largest digitization source for HathiTrust volumes after Google. Over 150K UC library volumes were digitized by Internet Archive as part of the Open Content Alliance (which ran from 2005-2008) and later deposited into the HathiTrust repository. Duplicate scans of the Internet Archive-scanned volumes are also available on 

HathiTrust-contributing institutions sometimes also deposit their locally digitized volumes into HathiTrust. At UC, both UC Berkeley and UC San Diego regularly upload this type of content  into HathiTrust and UC San Diego’s workflow includes a parallel deposit to Google Books.

Access Options

  • Volumes in HathiTrust are either full view or limited (search only) view. Full View volumes can be read online or via downloads. Limited (search only) view volumes are only available for search within a volume or across the collection.
  • 6.8 million (39%) of HathiTrust volumes are full view access in the United States because they are either in the public domain (including the vast majority of US federal government documents) or the rights holder has opened them with a Creative Commons license.
  • Access to certain volumes may differ for people inside and outside the United States, due to variations in domestic and international copyright provisions.
  • Download of public domain volumes: Anyone may download a Google-digitized public domain volume one page at a time. HathiTrust member affiliates (including UC students, faculty, and staff) may log in to HathiTrust and quickly download entire Google-digitized public domain volumes. Public domain works deposited in HathiTrust from non-Google sources (such as works scanned by Internet Archive or other organizations) and works made available by rights holders under Creative Commons licenses can be downloaded in their entirety without logging in to HathiTrust.

Special Features

  • Collections: Users may select subsets of volumes and create collections in HathiTrust. UC users may log in to create permanent collections they can share with others. It is possible to search within a collection and to download a collection’s metadata.
  • HTRC: The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) provides computational research access to the entirety of the HathiTrust corpus independent of rights determinations to member affiliates, including UC students, faculty, and staff. It also provides tools and support to help researchers access and use the corpus.
  • Google Books links: HathiTrust includes a link for the duplicate scan of a volume in Google Books when a duplicate exists. This can be useful as all users may download the PDFs of full view (usually public domain) volumes. The link may also be useful when encountering a limited (search only) volume in HathiTrust, as Google Books’ access restrictions may differ. Learn more about when and why you might want to click through to a volume’s representation in Google Books. 

HathiTrust Help

This article is part 2 of a 4 part series on when to use the HathiTrust Digital Library, Google Books, and Internet Archive Books & Texts