It’s been almost a year since HathiTrust publicized their collection of free backgrounds for Zoom, but the backgrounds are so attractive and fun, that we want to continue to amplify their use. HathiTrust keeps the backgrounds in this Google Drive folder where anyone with the link has access.

To see the backgrounds, go to the folder and double click on a file. You can easily scroll through the collection by clicking the white “next” and “previous” arrows on the left and right of the screen. Download any backgrounds that appeal to you.

Now open Zoom and click on the menu in the upper left hand corner of your screen. Select “Preferences > Background & Effects”. Then click the tiny “+” and select “add image” to upload your new virtual background. If you downloaded multiple backgrounds from the folder, you can upload them all at once by holding the shift or control button down as you select them.

HathiTrust thoughtfully provides a list of citations with links to the HathiTrust books from which each image came. If you like a certain background, you can go to the book to see if it contains additional illustrations you might want to use.

You can easily make your own Zoom backgrounds from any full access HathiTrust book. In the HathiTrust Book Viewer, go to the image you want to use as a Zoom background. Click “Download” to open up the downloading panel on the left side of the Book Viewer.

Choose the TIFF or JPEG format and “current page scan” for range. Then click the download button. The downloaded image may need to be rotated and cropped to optimize it for Zoom. Once the image is edited, upload it to your Zoom, and it’s ready for use.