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Books: Hathi Trust ebook collection: Hathi Trust

This guide details how to use the Hathi Trust, a massive collection of ebooks created to preserve the cultural record.

Searching and Browsing

The Hathi Trust is a digital repository of over 10 million volumes.  It was created for the purpose of preserving the cultural record, and it encompasses every subject, from the Arts and Humanities, to the Social Sciences and Sciences.  Items that are in the public domain are freely available for viewing and downloading.  Works that are still protected by copyright are available for limited viewing but the full-text can still be searched.  Because the Hathi Trust is so enormous and includes some titles that cannot be viewed full-text, we do not have these ebooks listed in our library catalog.  You will need to visit the Hathi Trust directly in order to search for the books it contains.

From the main page, you can perform a basic search for such parameters as title, author, etc.  There is also a full-text search feature that allows you to search the full text of all the books in the Hathi Trust to find titles that contain certain words or phrases.  If you are searching for an exact phrase, use quotations (for example, "wherefore art thou Romeo").  Advanced searching allows you to be more specific and to narrow your search to certain languages or formats.

Hathi Trust basic search and link to advanced search     Hathi Trust full text search

You can also browse smaller collections that member institutions and individual users have created.  These collections tend to be tightly focused on a certain topic and can be very useful when someone else has already done the searching for books on a topic that interests you.

Hathi Trust browsing collections

You can search the full text within an invidual book to find the instances and page numbers where a certain word, quotation, or phrase appears.  For books that are available to view in full, the full-text search function will display a list of the page numbers where the search term appears, as well a short excerpt of the text to show how the term appears in context.  Where a book is available for limited viewing and searching only, the full-text search will display only a list of the page numbers where the term appears.

USU Press

Several hundred USU Press titles are included in the Hathi Trust.  Most are still in copyright and cannot be viewed full-text.  To search for USU Press titles, simply type 'Utah State University Press' into the basic search box.

Searching for USU Press titles in Hathi Trust


The Hathi Trust platform is easy to navigate.  You can click through the book one page at a time by using the right and left arrows above the text, or you can jump to a specific page using the 'Jump to Section' to the left side of the navigation bar.  You also have other viewing options.  In scrolling format, you can navigate with the scroll button on your mouse or the up and down arrows on your keyboard.  In flip format, the pages turn from side to side like a physical book.  There is also a thumbnail view and a plain text view.

Hathi Trust navigation buttons     Hathi Trust jump to section feature

  Hathi Trust viewing format buttons 

Printing and Downloading

You may download individual pages of full-text Hathi Trust ebooks without logging in.  If you wish to download the entire book, you will need to log in.  Click on 'Download PDF - whole book' and then click on the Login link.  If you are on campus, Hathi Trust should recognize you as a Utah State University user.  If you are off-campus, you will have to find USU on the list of partner institutions.  Click the Login button and you will arrive at a Shibboleth page that will ask for your A number and password (just like EZ proxy for most other databases).  Once you are logged in, you will be returned to the book you were viewing, where you can now download the entire book in PDF format.

Hathi Trust log in as USU

Hathi Trust download options

Mobile Devices

If you have a Kindle, you can use it to read PDF files that you have downloaded.  Simply email the files to your Kindle email account, and they will appear on your Kindle the next time you sync the content.  If you don't know your Kindle email address, visit your Amazon account.  Under 'Digital Content', select 'Manage Your Kindle' and then 'Manage Your Devices'.

You may also view PDF files on your iPad.  Download the free Adobe Reader App from the App Store, and then download the file directly to your iPad using the iPad's Safari browser using the procedures outlined above to find, navigate, and download.  Alternately, email the PDF to yourself from your computer.  Open the email on your iPad, and then touch and hold your finger on the icon for the PDF file you wish to open.  Select the 'Open In' option and choose 'Adobe Reader'.

iPad open PDF in Adobe Reader     iPad open PDF in Adobe Reader

Subject Guide

Robert Heaton
My Phone: 435-797-8042
Library Info Desk: 435-797-2678