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Historical E-Book/Digital Collections at the OSU Library: HathiTrust

This guide will cover how to search the early e-book collections from the OSU Library for students and researchers in English/American literature, history, and other related fields

What is the HathiTrust

The HathiTrust (pronounced 'hah-tee') is a partnership of libraries and research institutions that have come together to build and share a digital repository of print works.  Begun in 2008, the goal of the partnership is to build a comprehensive archive of published literature from around the world.  The HathiTrust has pursued this goal chiefly by digitizing materials like books and journals from major library collections and other partners,such as Google, the Internet Archive, and Microsoft. Currently, eighty academic libraries and other major research institutions are members of HathiTrust. The OSU Library joined HathiTrust in 2014. HathiTrust contatins

  • 15,809,544 total volumes
  • 7,763,429 book titles
  • 429,132 serial titles
  • 5,533,340,400 pages

About 3 million records are serachable in BOSS, and you also go to

The core of HathiTrust are the books originally digitized for Google Books, but member libraries have added more digital content. Most of the full text is in public domain works (older than ~1920s and out of copyright); in-copyright matierial is often only available for limited search or catalog record only. Among the diverse contents are

  • Books
  • Periodicals (Magazines, Journals)
  • Government Documents
  • Maps
  • Musical Scores
  • Archival Material

Logging into HathiTrust


To access all the content and services available to OSU users you must first log in by following these steps:

Much of HathiTrust is free to all Web users, but OSU patrons can access far more because of our institutional membership. To access all the content available to OSU uers, you will need to long in once you reach the database's home page.

  1. Go to the HathiTrust homepae (Or access a record through the BOSS search box)
  2. Click on the yellow 'Log In' button in the upper right-hand side of the page 
  3. Select Oklahoma State University from the drop-down menu and click 'Continue.'
  4. Enter your Okstate email and O-Key password and click 'Continue.'


Searching HathiTrust

There are several search options once you have logged into HathiTrust

  • Catalog search - searches author, title, subject, year, ISBN and publisher. Select the catalog tab above the searchbox.
  • Full-text search - searches the complete text of all materials except charts, graphs and illustrations.
  • Prototype catalog - currently being developed with OCLC in the WorldCat Local interface.

Advanced Full-text Search gives allows you to search for keywords in the full text, author, title, subject, ISBN/ISSN, etc.


HathiTrust Mobile Site

  • Not an app, but a separate website, optimized for tablets and smaller devices.
  • Searches the catalog only, not the full-text. Viewing the full-text is supported.

Understanding Results

Whether using the Full Text or Catalog search, you will see two tabs above search results.

  • All items lists every item in HathiTrust that matches your search terms, whether or not you have access to the full text.
  • Only full view lists just the items for which you have access to the full text.

  • When full view is available, the results show links for Catalog Record and Full View, as in the second example above.
  • When full view is not available, you see links for Catalog Record and Limited (search-only). Click the latter to search within that title and identify which pages contain your search terms.