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HathiTrust

Table of Contents for this Page

Though all relevant information, this page is quite long, so we have provided this Table of Contents with direct links to specific boxes for more ease of use.

  1. Searching HathiTrust via their Website
  2. Advanced Search
  3. Limiting Search Results
  4. Downloading Content
  5. Why Can't I View an Item?
  6. What to do when content is not accessible via HathiTrust

Searching HathiTrust via their Website

HathiTrust offers two ways of searching their content.

  • A Catalog Search (narrower search results) searches a catalog record that lists basic bibliographic information, like title and publisher, as well as information about a book, such as subject terms.
  • A Full-text Search (broader search results) searches the full content of a book, including title, table of contents, the text itself, and any other sections. Full-text search DOES NOT mean that you have full text access.

This picture is a screenshot of the search box on HathiTrust's main page. It includes the search bar itself, choices for full-text and catalog searches, full view only selection, links to advanced searching in full view and catalog, search tips link, and link to how to choose how to search. None of the links in this image are clickable. They are merely here to show the options to the user without having to go to the HathiTrust webpage.

The image on the left shows the default search engine on HathiTrust's main page.

You will notice that it is set to a Full-text Search, and it is also set to only pull up items that users have the ability to access completely (the "Full view only" checked box on the left). Links to the Advanced Searches are below, as well as links to HathiTrust's Search Tips.

If you are not sure if you should choose a Full-text Search or a Catalog Search, HathiTrust provides the definitions through the link at the bottom right in case you need help deciding.

Each type of search offers a basic, Google-like keyword search option as well as an advanced search option with more specific ways to narrow your search.

Some general search tips are:

  • Use quotation marks to look for an exact phrase: e.g., "Grand Canyon"
  • Use boolean operators (and, or, not) to make your search more specific. "AND" combines search terms ("Grand Canyon" AND rafting), "OR" looks for either search term (rafting OR boating), while "NOT" excludes a search term ("White Russian" NOT "cocktail")

To get to HathiTrust, choose the "Visit HathiTrust" tab on the left of this guide, or visit our A-Z Database List.

Advanced Search

Besides the basic searches, you can also use two Advanced Searches: Advanced Catalog Search and Advanced Full-Text Search

Advanced search allows you to search multiple fields at once. The top portion of the Advanced Search looks different for Catalog and Full-Text.

This is a screenshot of the Advanced Catalog Search page, including all of the options described in the text.

 

 

 

The image to the left shows what the Advanced Catalog Search looks like. The dropdown menus on the left are set to a default keyword search that finds your search terms anywhere they appear in the catalog record for the resource, and allow you to make all sorts of choices, such as Title, Author, Subject, Publication Year, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a screenshot of the Advanced Full-text Search page for searching within the text of a document (not for viewing the full-text of a document), including all of the options described in the text.

The image to the left here shows the what the Advanced Full-text Search looks like. Remember Full-text search DOES NOT mean that you have full text access (see the explanation towards the top of this page if you haven't already).

There are two sets of dropdown menus to choose from here. The far left box allows you to choose which parts of a resource you are looking at. The first two choices are the broadest. "Full-Text + All Fields" means that it will search for your terms in the full text of the resources as well as in the catalog record for that resource. "Only Full-Text " will search the full text of the resource. The second dropdown box from the left lets you choose how specifically you want to search for the words you have entered.

 

 

 

The Additional Search Options in Advanced Search are the same for both Catalog and Full-Text searches, and are located below these main boxes in which you enter your search terms. You can limit your results by full-text availability, date of publication, language, and original format. Make sure you check the "Full view only" box to limit your search results to resources that you can see in their entirety online.

Limiting Search Results

The results page for a Full-text Search and a Catalog Search will look the same.  On the left-hand side of the page is a section entitled 'Refine results' with several options for narrowing down the search results.  Options for limiting your results include subject, author, language, place of publication (geographic location, if known), date of publication, original format, and original location (the library or other institution that contributed the source to HathiTrust).

Let's do a fun search to see what search results may look like. For the two images below, a simple search for "marmalade" was done using the default selections of each Advanced Search (Catalog and Full-text) and choosing no other limits.

The image on the left shows Full-text results. The image on the right shows Catalog results. The Full-text search is a broader search so it is pulling up a lot more search results (almost 200,000!) than the Catalog search (only 48). Notice that the Catalog search results also look more relevant to learning about marmalade. This is even reflected on the left in the choices for "Subject". Using the limits on the left side to help you narrow your results further would be particularly important in your broader Full-text search.

This is a screenshot of the results page of a Full-text Search for searching within the text of a document (not for viewing the full-text of a document), including all of the options described in the text.This is a screenshot of the results page of a Catalog Search, including all of the options described in the text.

Downloading content

Users must first log into HathiTrust to download content - see "Logging in to HathiTrust" on the left for instructions.

HathiTrust offers two options for downloading and saving material: downloading a single page or an entire book in PDF format. Either option is a simple process. While viewing a book, click on the 'Download this page (PDF)' or 'Download whole book (PDF)' link on the left-hand side of the page. 

Downloading a single page prompts the PDF to automatically open in a new tab in your web browser. From there you can save or print the page using the PDF menu. When downloading a single page or series of pages, you must select the pages you wish to download by clicking on the top outside corner of that page to select them (the page will outline itself in orange).

When downloading an entire book the system often takes several minutes to compile the PDF. Once it is ready, click on the 'Download PDF' link. You will be prompted to open or to save the file.

Why Can't I View An Item?

Many works in HathiTrust are protected by copyright law, so these cannot publicly display full-text unless HathiTrust has permission from the copyright holder. Where HathiTrust has the right to show page images of works, HathiTrust will make every effort to do so. HathiTrust currently displays works that are in the public domain (such as US works published before 1924), uncopyrightable works (such as works of the US government), or works where HathiTrust has permission from the copyright holder. If HathiTrust cannot determine the copyright or permission status of a work, HathiTrust restricts access to that work until its status is determined.

These items are marked Limited (Search Only) in HathiTrust. If you would still like to obtain the item, choose the hyperlinked text "find this item in a library", which will move you into the WorldCat system so you can check for the item at the NMSU Library or request it through Inter Library Loan.

For more information about HathiTrust's copyright policy, see their Copyright FAQ.

What to do when content is not accessible via HathiTrust

When full text access is not available, HathiTrust provides the option to search within the text of an item for frequency of their terms and then the user can determine if they want to search out a physical copy either in the library or via interlibrary loan.

Here is an example where electronic access is not available due to copyright.

This is a screenshot of a page on HathiTrust of an item NMSU does not have access to, showing the "search inside this text" option and the "find in a library" option.

 

 

This image on the left is what the user sees in HathiTrust.

Note the "Find in a library" button. Use this button to determine if NMSU owns a print copy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a screenshot of a book's page on WorldCat, which is where HathiTrust takes you when you click the "find in a library" option. From here you can see whether or not NMSU has the print of a book or navigate to request it through Interlibrary Loan.

 

 

This second image on the left is what the user sees after clicking the "Find in a library" button.

 

In this case, NMSU owns a print copy. Clicking on "Search the Catalog" will return the user to  Primo, which contains information about the print copy. 

 

If NMSU did not own the print, the user could click “Request this book or article” to instigate an interlibrary loan request.