HathiTrust began in 2008 as a consortium of 12 Mid-West universities that embody the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and 11 universities from the University of California system. In essence, the goal was to create a digital repository of scholarly material and books. Copyright and other factors determine the availability of researchers to view documents in the repository.
Currently, there are over 17 million volumes in the database. 38% of the content is in the public domain.
Although certainly different in content, database software, and user interface, HathiTrust is similar in concept to Google Books, Internet Archive, and the FamilySearch Digital Library in that they all are digital repositories of book and document content.
HathiTrust is certainly worth a genealogist’s time to research. There is a variety of pertinent content that this researcher has discovered. Examples of the most numerous include college yearbooks, city directories, and alumni and school records. Where HathiTrust really shines is in the area of local history books that have been digitized.
You can search the HathiTrust Catalog entries or perform a full-text search. Filtering of results can include Subject, Author, Language, Place of Publication, Date of Publication, Original Format, and Original Location.
To access the site, go to www.Hathitrust.org
Click HERE for other Free Online Genealogy Websites of the Day