Not to be confused with HATII.
Type of site
Digital library
Available in Perl, Java[1]
Owner University consortium
Website www.hathitrust.org
Alexa rank 20k (2016)
Commercial Proprietary[1]
Launched 2008
Current status Upheld by courts[2]
Content license
Public domain (with restrictions on Google scans), various[3]

HathiTrust is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via the Google Books project and Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by libraries.

HathiTrust was founded in October 2008 by the thirteen universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the University of California. The partnership includes over 60 research libraries[4] across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and is based on a shared governance structure. Costs are shared by the participating libraries and library consortia. The repository is administered by Indiana University and the University of Michigan. The Executive Director of HathiTrust is Mike Furlough.

In October 2015, HathiTrust comprised over 13.7 million volumes, including 5.3 million of which were in the public domain in the United States. HathiTrust provides a number of discovery and access services, notably, full-text search across the entire repository.

In September 2011, the Authors Guild sued HathiTrust (Authors Guild v. HathiTrust), alleging massive copyright violation.[5] A federal court ruled against the Authors Guild in October 2012, finding that HathiTrust's use of books scanned by Google was fair use under US law.[6] The court's opinion relied on the transformative doctrine of federal copyright law, holding that what the Trust had done to give access transformed the copyrighted works without infringing on the copyright holders' rights. That decision was largely affirmed by the Second Circuit on June 10, 2014, which found that both search and accessibility were fair use, and remanded to the lower court to reconsider whether the plaintiffs had standing to sue regarding HathiTrust's library preservation copies.[7]

Hathi, pronounced "hah-tee", is the Hindi and Urdu word for elephant, an animal famed for its long-term memory.[8]


  1. 1 2 "Technological Profile". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  2. "HathiTrust Statement on Authors Guild v. Google". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. "Access and Use Policies". Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  4. "HathiTrust Partnership Community". hathitrust.org. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  5. Bosman (September 12, 2011). "Lawsuit Seeks the Removal of a Digital Book Collection". New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  6. Albanese, Andrew (11 October 2012). "Google Scanning is Fair Use Says Judge". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
  7. Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, (2d Cir. June 10, 2014).
  8. "Launch of HathiTrust: Major Library Partners Launch HathiTrust Shared Digital Repository, HathiTrust Press Release, Oct. 13, 2008.

Further reading

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