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Research Guides

HathiTrust Digital Library: Searching and Viewing Documents

Searching HathiTrust Digital Library

Ways to search HathiTrust:

  • Catalog Search- search catalog by Title, Author, Publication Date
  • Full-text Search- use keywords to search the full-text of all works in HathiTrust
  • Collection Builder- search inside collection of materials that you or others create
  • Single-volume Search- search inside a volume using keywords while viewing the work in the page-viewing application
  • Via UW Libraries- all Full-view (not search-only) HathiTrust records are also discoverable via the UW Libraries catalog

For more information on the different search types, visit HathiTrust's Search Tips page.


Viewing Documents

Different types of results:

Full-text Results

If a result has the “Full view” option, the work will be available to view, download, search, and add to a collection. Most items will have images of scanned pages and a plain text version.


Search-only Results

If the result has the “Limited (search-only)” option instead of a “Full view” option, the volume is restricted and not available for viewing. These items are likely in-copyright and only available to print-disabled patrons. These items still have a "Search inside the text" option that will find the frequency and page number of specific words and phrases, which may help you determine if the work is worth finding elsewhere.

Downloading PDFs


Many works with a full-text view will have the option to download a pdf. This option can be found on the left side of the full-view page of a work.

Copying Text from HathiTrust

Most PDFs from HathiTrust will be image PDFs and are not text enabled. This means that you will not be able to copy text from the PDF. Some works will be available in plain text view, which can be copied and pasted into a document. To get to the plain text view, go to the work's full text view and click on the text-only option on the left.