HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS): Frequently Asked Questions

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service ended August 15, 2021.

Full circulation of IU Libraries materials is activated; stacks are open for browsing.

IU Libraries, like many academic libraries in the world, experienced an emergency disruption in service that prevented circulation of physical books. During this time, the HathiTrust Digital Library expanded access to full-text digitized books for Indiana University users, if those books matched a physical item in our collection.  

6.7 million titles still available digitally

Founded in 2008 by a collaborative of the universities of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (now the Big Ten Academic Alliance), and the University of California system, HathiTrust preserves 17+ million digitized print items. Of these, 6.7 million titles are in the public domain or are Creative Commons-licensed works and remain available with no reading charges to everyone.

HathiTrust ETAS is the Emergency Temporary Access Service that HathiTrust made available in early April 2020 as a temporary means to help libraries that were closed due to the pandemic provide online access to a portion of their collections to their patrons. Based on our library holdings, it gives patrons access to Items in HathiTrust that have been digitized by any library but are normally not available due to copyright law and copyright restrictions.

Currently ETAS is limited to IU faculty, staff, and students; access is controlled via IU Login.

Thanks to a rapid IUCAT integration HathiTrust availability is now displayed for each searchable item.   Look for the orange HathiTrust logo as a visible indicator that a particular item is digitally available.   

  • All HathiTrust IU materials that are available during ETAS are discoverable when searching IUCAT without having to enable extra filters.
  • In a record where full text is available through HathiTrust, the HathiTrust button on the left-hand side has been modified slightly to include the language “Access full text at” and a link below about ETAS.
  • When someone selects this HathiTrust button, they are taken to authenticate with IU Login or, if previously logged in, will be taken directly to the resource or to “check out” the resource if there is a user limit.
A screenshot image displays the search results in IUCAT for an item that is available in the HathiTrust

This sometimes happens when there is missing data in the IUCAT record. In this scenario we should have access to the item, and you can find it by searching through the HathiTrust interface directly. Be sure to click the LOG IN button in HathiTrust so that you are recognized as an IU user. You can also report the issue to libapps @ indiana . edu so that the IUCAT record can be corrected.

Items available through HathiTrust ETAS can be checked out for one hour. If you are still actively looking at the book and no one else is attempting to check it out, the book will be renewed automatically.

Through HathiTrust ETAS, the library has access only to the number of digital copies that we own in print. If we hold only one print copy on the shelves, then only one user affiliated with our university can access the digital book in HathiTrust at a time. Please be courteous, and return books as soon as you’re done with them.

Yes, we can fulfill a request for a chapter or article from the item in HathiTrust ETAS as there is no download option within HathiTrust ETAS. Use the Request Article Delivery service.

HathiTrust can provide simultaneous access only to the number of print copies that your institution’s library holds. For example, if your library holds only 1 print copy on the shelves, then only 1 user affiliated with your university can access the digital book in HathiTrust at a time. If your library holds 2 print copies, then only 2 users can access the digital book simultaneously. You may want to encourage your students to return the book as soon as they are done using it.

Source: ETAS User Information

No. We can fulfill a request for a scanned chapter or article from the item, but we cannot fulfill a lending request for the whole print item.

The IU Libraries only updates its holdings with HathiTrust once a year. This means that we may have items that should be available through ETAS but HathiTrust does not yet know about them. Please email a librarian at libapps @ indiana . edu to see what options are available for getting access to the book you’re interested in.

Through the Emergency Temporary Access Service, you have access to items that are in your institution’s library which match a digitized copy in HathiTrust. The data to determine your access is provided to HathiTrust by the library, and updates are submitted periodically. In addition, you get regular access to books that are in the public domain and books that are open with a Creative Commons license. You do not have access to copyrighted items that are not held by your library.

Source: ETAS User Information

Books that are labeled with “Temporary Access” are provided through the Emergency Temporary Access Service. These books are more restricted, and we cannot provide full-book download access to these books.  Other books are in the public domain and can be more freely shared. 

Source: ETAS User Information

HathiTrust is now an international community of research libraries committed to the long-term curation and availability of the cultural record. IU Libraries has been sending materials for digitization since 2007 when the Big Ten Academic Alliance partnered with Google to digitize millions of volumes across all of the universities, which are then ingested into the HathiTrust for preservation and shared access.  IU Libraries is a proud member of the HathiTrust Digital Library community and has contributed over 800,000 volumes. Through the terms of service, items shared by other universities that match holdings in our own library serve as a digital surrogate for physical items during emergency access situations. 

HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access will end August 15, 2021. This means the digitized access to our print materials will return to previous copyright status and will not be offered as it is at present. Normal circulation of print materials will resume.

If you have other questions not addressed in this FAQ, please check the HathiTrust.org FAQ. Or you can email libapps @ indiana . edu and a librarian will answer any questions you have.

For more background information about HathiTrust ETAS, see: New digital borrowing for IU books.