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HathiTrust Digital Library

tips for searching and data mining the Hathi Trust Digital Library

Searching HathiTrust

HathiTrust offers two ways of searching their content. A Catalog Search 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 searches the full content of a book, including title, table of contents, the text itself, and any other sections.

Each type of search offers a basic, Google-like keyword search option as well as an advanced search option.

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")

In addition to searching HathiTrust directly, Library One Search, ASU Library's primary discovery platform, can be used to search e-books that are in the public domain in the U.S. in HathiTrust. Simply perform a keyword search and then limit your results in the left-hand column to "Book / eBook" under Source Type. 

Catalog Search

Searching the HathiTrust catalog is similar to searching the ASU Library Catalog.  The default search option on the HathiTrust homepage is a keyword search.  You can choose to search all fields or search certain fields, such as title or author.  You can click on 'Full view only' to search just those items available in full-text view.  

To access the advanced search option click on 'Advanced Catalog Search'.  Advanced search allows you to search multiple fields at once.  You can also limit your results by full-text availability, publication year, language and original format.

Full-Text Search

On the HathiTrust homepage the default search option is a keyword search.  You can limit your search results to those items for which the full-text is available to ASU users by clicking on the check box for 'Full view only.'

To access the advanced search option click on 'Advanced Full-text Search'.  Advanced search allows you to search for keywords in the full text and in specific parts of a book such as the title, author or series.  You can also limit your results by full-text availability, publication year, language and original format.

Downloading content

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

HathiTrust offers two options for downloading and saving material: downloading a single page or an entire book.  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 an entire book the system may take a moment to generate the PDF.  Once it is ready, click on the 'Download PDF' link.  You will be prompted to open or to save the file.

What's Available to ASU Users?

ASU users have full-text access and downloading capabilities for those items in the public domain, including:

  • US federal government documents
  • Works published before 1923
  • Works still protected by copyright, but made available to HathiTrust with the permission of the copyright holder

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