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Penn Libraries News

HathiTrust Provides Emergency Temporary Access to Copyrighted Books

HathiTrust Logo outline of an elephant head.

HathiTrust, a partnership of academic and research institutions offering millions of digitized titles from libraries around the world – including the Penn Libraries – recently announced Emergency Temporary Access Service. The service gives students, faculty, and staff from eligible member libraries online reading access to a large body of materials that were previously available through their library collections only in physical form.

As a result, the Penn community now has temporary access to a collection of e-books that mirrors the more than 1.2 million HathiTrust volumes in the Penn Libraries print collections. This includes digitized versions of 40% of the Penn Libraries physical materials presently inaccessible to students and faculty. 

Links to the HathiTrust material have been added to the Penn Libraries’ online catalog, Franklin, so that any record in Franklin which has a counterpart in the HathiTrust Digital Library will be directly accessible for online reading and e-loan.

To take advantage of this resource, Penn card holders* can:

  • Enter search terms in the Penn Libraries’ online catalog, Franklin.
  • Limit search results to online materials: under “Limit your search” in the left-hand navigation, under “Access,” click “Online.” Materials newly available through the HathiTrust will be marked COVID-19 Special Access from HathiTrust — Login for full text.
  • Click the login link and enter your PennKey credentials.
  • You will be directed to the HathiTrust catalog.

You made it! Within HathiTrust, books that have the label “Temporary Access” are made available to you temporarily. Books that have the label “Full View” are either in the public domain or were opened with permission from the copyright holder. For further details on these access types, see the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service How-To guide (begin with Step 6 if you’ve already begun your search as outlined above). The guide also includes instructions on how to navigate the HathiTrust site on a mobile device or tablet.

In recent weeks, the Penn Libraries has dramatically expanded e-book content in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Some 36,000 additional e-books are under licensing, bringing the Libraries’ current e-book collection to approximately 2,050,000 titles. 

The Franklin catalog also contains some 3 million public domain items of the HathiTrust that have been accessible since 2014. With the addition of new items included through the Emergency Temporary Access Service, the total number of works available in full-text online approaches 6.3 million.  

*Please note that the use of Penn Libraries licensed resources is generally restricted to current students, faculty, and staff. For more information, visit the Penn Libraries’ guide to accessing electronic resources and see additional guidance for employees of the University of Pennsylvania Health System employees (HUP, Pennsylvania, and Presbyterian Hospitals) and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.