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Drexel Libraries Joins HathiTrust Digital Library 

June 30, 2023

The Drexel University Libraries has become the newest member of HathiTrust, a global collaborative of academic and research libraries that preserves, digitizes, and increases online access to collections.

Today, HathiTrust offers reading access to the fullest extent allowable by U.S. copyright law, computational access to the entire corpus for scholarly research, and other emerging services based on the combined collection. HathiTrust members steward this collection under the aims of scholarly, not corporate, interests. HathiTrust holds the largest set of digitized books managed by the academic, research, and library community. This offers an unprecedented opportunity to steward the cultural record through increasingly interdependent work that develops capacity and sparks innovation.

The Drexel Libraries joined this community of research libraries to further support teaching and research at Drexel, and to support the scholarly needs of the broader public and the long-term availability of the cultural record.

Thanks to this new membership, the Drexel community will benefit from increased access to HathiTrust’s collection of digital resources, as well as specialized features that allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into collections that can be searched and browsed and that facilitate access by persons with print disabilities.

What is HathiTrust?

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership of more than 200 libraries and holds the largest set of digitized books managed by the academic, research, and library community. Members have contributed more than 17.4 million volumes to the digital library, digitized from their print collections. More than 6.5 million of the contributed volumes are in the U.S. public domain and freely available online.

HathiTrust serves a dual role. First, as a trusted repository, it guarantees the long-term preservation of the materials it holds, providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. Second, as a service for members and the public good, HathiTrust offers persistent access to its digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading, and searching public domain volumes, and the ability to search within copyrighted works.

How to Access HathiTrust Resources

HathiTrust resources are now discoverable via DragonSearch, the Libraries’ online discovery tool. In order to provide full access to HathiTrust’s content, the Libraries needed to upgrade to a different type of authentication system. In fall 2022, the Libraries agreed to adopt the University’s existing Shibboleth single sign-on (SSO) authentication system to eventually replace EZProxy. There should be no discernible difference noted by clients when interacting with Shibboleth in place of EZProxy.

Shibboleth allows clients to log in to online resources using their Drexel University username and password. Libraries staff are gradually implementing the new system, and not all Drexel Libraries resources will be available via Shibboleth. EZProxy will be used to maintain access to resources which do not support Shibboleth until they can become Shibboleth compliant. The HathiTrust resources are some of the first available via Shibboleth at Drexel.  

Members of the Drexel community may also access HathiTrust resources directly through the HathiTrust website. Simply visit and click the “LOG IN” button and select “Drexel University” from the drop-down. You will be prompted to enter your Drexel user ID and password to authenticate via Drexel Connect.

Once logged in, you may:

  • Read or download complete books and other works that are in the public domain or made available through open access
  • Search the full text of single or multiple books or other works
  • Perform digital humanities activities, including complex analyses and data mining research, with HathiTrust Research Center services

The Drexel University Libraries looks forward to membership in HathiTrust as a means to assure preservation of its own digital copies and contribute or sustain those volumes to an increasingly comprehensive digital archive of library materials converted from print that is co-owned and managed by academic institutions.

For questions or more information, contact