Getting Started with HathiTrust

Why Create a Collection?

HathiTrust collections provide a way to aggregate digital items related to a common theme.

Once items have been added to a collection, the full-text and bibliographic metadata of items can be searched independently of the larger repository. Items in collections can also be quickly copied to new or existing collections.

Creating collections is the starting point for using HathiTrust Research Center to perform text analyses of your chosen items.

What Comprises a Collection

You may make a collection of:

a) Catalog records

b) Full-text items

c) Items with records but which are not available for viewing

It is common for text mining to include materials that are available in full-text as well as those that are not available for viewing. Text mining can be performed using both types of titles.

Using Collections

Many collections are already made publicly available by other researchers or institutions. You may also build your own collection.

You can select a public collection to review from Collections on the top menu. Then select the range of public collections you would like to see from Filter Collections on the left sidebar.

Finding available collections


Type your search in the Find a collection search box in the middle of the page. Your results will be visible to you in the collections listed below

Collection Selection Screen with a Shakespeare search

****** PLEASE remember that collections are created and curated by people like you and me. The fact that a collection is public does not indicate the level of quality.

Creating your Collection

Creating a new collection is easy! Here are two ways to create a new collection:

  1. From the Collections page, click on "New Collection" below    

Collections page - new collection button

2.          From the MyCollections link in the top menu bar you will find the same button (Note: I already have already made a collection on poet Robinson Jeffers.

My Collections in Hathi Trust

3) You can also create a collection in the midst of a Full Text Search. Select the item you want and open the Collections menu on the left.


When establishing your new collection:

  1. Name it and provide a short description.
  2. Choose whether to make it a private collection (only you can see it) or a public collection (all HathiTrust users can see it). ***Note: if you are going to mine the data in HathiTrust Analytics the collection will need to be made public. ****Note: a private collection can be made public at a later date.
  3. Click 'Add.'  

After a collection has been established you can add items into it.

To add items to a collection when using the Full Text Search option:

  1. On the search results page check the box next to any item you want to add to a collection.
  2. Select the appropriate collection from the drop-down menu at the top of the search results.
  3. Click 'Add Selected.' 
  4. A message will appear that the items have been added


  1. Click on a specific item and add it to the collection using the collection left sidebar.

Collections from Your Previous Account


We do not have an automated process to migrate collections to a different account. Instead, if you only have a handful of collections, you can copy your collections while logged in with your new account. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Log into HathiTrust with your old account.
  2. Navigate to the list of your collections.
  3. For all collections that you wish to migrate, ensure that the collection is public. Click the "Make Public" button to switch private collections to public collections.
  4. Copy the link for the collection you wish to migrate by right-clicking on the name of the collection and selecting “Copy link address” or by opening the collection and copying the link from the left side of the page under “Link to this Collection.”
  5. In a different browser, navigate to the HathiTrust login screen.
  6. Under Guests, choose a different university or to log in with an existing Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Microsoft account. Follow the prompts to log in with the option you selected. After successfully logging in, you will be returned to the HathiTrust website.
  7. Paste the url of the collection that you copied in Step #4 into the browser address bar. Hit Enter on your keyboard, and your collection will load.
  8. Change the number of items that appear on the page to 100 items.
  9. Check the box to “Select all on page.” All of the books displayed on the page should now be checked.
  10. Ensure that “New Collection…” is displayed in the dropdown menu at Choose Collection and select the “Add” button. You will be prompted to assign a collection name to your new collection. After you select “Save changes,” the books selected on that page will be added to the collection you just saved.
  11. If you have more than 100 items in your collection, you may need to navigate to the next page in your collection and repeat the process of selecting all texts on the page and adding them to the collection you just created.
  12. Repeat this for all collections you wish to migrate to your new guest account.


The following is the help information from HathiTrust regarding the issue of moving your collections from one account to another on the page at :