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HathiTrust Digital Library

Provides overview and tips on using the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Searching Tips

Type your search word(s) or phrases in the HathiTrust Digital Library search box. You can use quotation marks to note phrases, and you can use AND and OR (in all-caps) to ensure that both terms must be in the results, or that one or the other term may be in the results.

Basic keyword searching

Example: Explained:
neuropsychiatry Will search for items with the word neuropsychiatry.

Islamic architecture 

Will search for items with both the words Islamic and architecture, in any order, in any searchable field.

"applied economics"

Will search for items with the exact phrase applied economics.
anthro* Will search for items that have the word stem anthro, such as anthropologistsanthropomorphic, 
anthropologischen, anthropology, etc.

AND or OR searching

Example: Explained:
laws OR legislation Will search for items with the words laws or legislation.
income AND poverty Will search for items with both words, income and poverty, in any order.
"aboriginal australians" OR "indigenous peoples"              Will search for items with one or both of the exact phrase: aboriginal Australians or indigenous peoples.
garden* AND flower* 


Will retrieve items that must have the word stem "garden" plus any variations of the word, such as gardening, gardeners, gardens, etc., and have variations on the stem "flower," such as flowers, flowering, etc.
(criminal OR constitutional) AND law Will search for items that have either criminal law or consitutional law.

Catalog Record Searching

Note that the default search type is Full text search for full view items only. You must change the default search to Catalog in order to search the descriptive information about the HathiTrust Digital Library items, similar to the search experience you have in the U-M Library Catalog Search. Search the catalog for bibliographic records (information that includes title, author, publication date and publisher, etc.) to identify books or journals of interest.
HathiTrust Catalog Search Screen with pull-down menu for searchable fields

HathiTrust Catalog Search screen with pull-down menu for searchable fields.

With Catalog search, you can specify certain fields where your search terms should appear (e.g. author).

Image of author search for Yost, Fielding

HathiTrust Catalog Search screen with the Author field selected for searching.

The Advanced Catalog search is best for searching for some specific or exact elements of a citation, such as title and author together.
Image of the Advanced Search form for catalog items, with title "housekeeping notes" and author "kettredge"

HathiTrust Advanced Catalog Search form for items with the title "housekeeping notes" and author "kettredge."

Full Text Searching

You can use the full text search feature of HathiTrust Digital Library to search the contents within books and journals that have been scanned. These scanned images were OCR'd to provide searching capabilities. Like Catalog Search, you can search for phrases or multiple terms.

Image of a full-text search for 'Zitkala-Sa'

HathiTrust full-text/full-view search for '"Zitkala-Sa" as a keyword.

For more effective results and search speed, it's best to avoid searching for common words, such as the, and, of, etc. Note that you cannot search the contents of charts, illustrations, images, photos, etc.

Pro Tip: Run a Catalog Search to identify likely works that will contain the quote, phrases, or word combinations you want to find. Put those catalog records into a "collection." Run a Full-text Search for your quote, phrases, or word combinations within your new collection. Because you are searching the contents of a smaller set of items, you are more likely to generate a better list of useful results to review.