This guide is designed to help users access some of University Libraries print collection through HathiTrust during the COVID-19 pandemic library closure.

HathiTrust digital access

Millions of books from the University Libraries print collection are now available online. The HathiTrust Digital Library took an important step and opened up in-copyright material in their digital library to member institutions with copies of those items in their physical collections.

This emergency access will end on August 12.

This means that any of the 17 million volumes available through HathiTrust — which are also in the University of Minnesota Libraries’ collections — will be available for online viewing by University faculty, students, and staff.

HathiTrust’s online collection contains about half of the U of M Libraries’ book collection. Additionally, millions of public domain works in HathiTrust will remain fully viewable by anyone, regardless of being held by the Libraries.

The U of M Libraries is among the first member libraries with access to this service.

How to access the collection

You can access these materials by using our Libraries search.

For example, if you are searching our website for a book in our collection and it has a match in HathiTrust, the link will be included in your search results, seen here:


You can also access this resource by following these steps:

  1. HathiTrust Digital Library
  2. Login at the HathiTrust site (undefined button is at upper right.) The system will prompt you to enter your UMN ID and password. This special full-view access will not work without logging in.
  3. Use the site to locate the item you wish to view.
  4. Click on the “Temporary Access” link at the bottom of the record and then the “Check Out” button to access the item through the Emergency Temporary Access Service.

Note: This temporary access truly mirrors our physical collection. For example, an item can only be viewed or checked out by one person at a time. Books cannot be downloaded. Users will be able to view or read an item for 60 minutes during a session before it’s “returned” to the digital shelf. However, if users are actively engaged in a book — such as by turning pages or scrolling, the viewing time is automatically extended.

You are not able to download the book in any way; you may only read it online in an active session while using HathiTrust. The emergency temporary access will end once the Libraries re-opens its buildings and access to the print collections is restored.

For more information

For help with access to these and other digital resources at the U of M, please contact the Libraries through our online help form or by using our 24/7 chat service.

Please visit HathiTrust’s “How to” page for detailed instructions — including how to use the service on a phone or tablet.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2021 6:20 PM