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COVID-19 Update: Although the Gould Library building remains closed, the library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

Ebooks at Carleton

A guide to the various ebook options at Carleton

What is HathiTrust?

The HathiTrust Digital Library includes ebooks of works made available through a global partnership of major research institutions and libraries. HathiTrust books can be searched in Catalyst or in HathiTrust Digital Library itself. Carleton is a member of this partnership, and our faculty, staff, and students (or other users on campus) may download any work in the public domain (published before 1923, generally) or read it in full online in a browser.

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access

HathiTrust is now temporarily expanded to allow access to books we have in print in Gould Library. Log in and search for your desired book. If access is available, it will say Temporary Access, please click on that. You are allowed a 60 minute check out with unlimited renewals. For more information, check out this FAQ or ask a librarian for help.

Temporary access in the HathiTrust results list will look like this:


When you click on Temporary Access, you may check out the book by clicking the Check Out button:


You may link to the book from your Moodle course or other instructional materials using the permanent link, that looks like this:

Where can I find HathiTrust?

You can always find a link to the library's HathiTrust subscription on the "Databases" tab on the library website. By linking to HathiTrust through the library website, you ensure that you are using our subscription (and have downloading privileges non-subscribers lack).

HathiTrust Fast Facts

HathiTrust ebooks can be found in Catalyst along with all of our other print books and ebooks. They appear in the “All Results” search in Catalyst as well as under a separate “Books” tab. Public domain (or "Full view") HathiTrust ebooks can be read in your browser or downloaded.

Fast facts:

  • Downloads (of public domain books only) are available as PDF files for users who are logged in.
  • PDF downloads are available by page or by the whole book (once you're logged in, just click on the appropriate button under "Get This Book" at the left of the page).
  • Downloaded PDF files do not expire.
  • The unformatted text of individual pages is available for public domain books under "Text Only Views" at the left of the page.
  • Text-only views were created using automated optical character recognition (OCR), which can introduce spelling, punctuation, and grammatical inaccuracies.
  • Users with a print disability may apply for access to complete, text-only version of books.
  • Statistics and visualizations of HathiTrust metadata are available for users at subscribing institutions (including Carleton), as are HathiTrust Research Center Analytics such as algorithms for computational text analysis, data capsules, datasets, and worksets.

Supported devices: Any device with the ability to browse the Internet or open PDF files.