Available Indexes

Accessible Text Request Service Configuration

HathiTrust offers an Accessible Text Request Service for our members (previously known as Print Disability Proxy Service.) Through this service, users who are blind or print disabled can request copies of any copyrighted book. Copyrighted books are listed as "limited (search-only)" in the HathiTrust Digital Library Collection. HathiTrust members have to set up this service, and requests for copyrighted books are made to the staff member who is designated as the contact at your university. 

This service can help minimize the work that your disability office does to scan and convert print books into accessible formats.

Please also see this webinar recording from September 2020 on "HathiTrust 101: Accessible Text Request Service." 

Set up this service at your university or library

In order to take advantage of this service, the following steps must be followed. Each step is described in more detail below. 

  1. Designate a contact.
  2. Complete and submit a copy of our agreement. 
  3. Configure secure access. 
  4. Renew access annually in order to maintain this service.

1. Designate a contact

A staff member at your university or library must be selected as the designated service provider. This individual will be responsible for receiving requests from patrons, verifying their eligibility, accessing HathiTrust to retrieve the requested work, and distributing the work to the patron.

Each university or library can have up to four staff members registered to fulfill these requests. Contact us if you need additional staff to have this access. This individual may be located in a university library or in a disability office. 

2. Complete the agreement

Fill out the following agreement for your university or library:

The form should be printed out and signed by an “authorized representative” who has authority to sign on behalf of your institution. This is typically someone at level of an associate university librarian or director or higher. If you are not sure who can sign as an authorized representative, please consult with the administrators at your organization. 

On the form, under “Public ‘help’ address” indicate the email address that patrons should use for submitting requests. Alternatively, this could be a url for a webpage. This help address will be included on the list at http://bit.ly/acc-texts, which your patrons will consult to determine how to request an accessible text.

After the authorized representative and the designated service provider have signed the printed form, scan and email it to support@hathitrust.org

3. Configure access

Once we have received the form, we will work with the designated service provider to set you up for access. We can either support access via a static, non-NAT IP address or via two-factor authentication.

  • Multi-factor authentication (preferred): If your university or library has enabled multi-factor authentication, we may be able to rely on this for secure access. Your university identity provider must indicate to HathiTrust when multi-factor authentication is used during authentication via the SAML AuthnContextClassRef element, preferably using the standard REFEDS MFA profile. You can check whether your identity provider already meets multifactor requirements using the NIH eRA compliance check tool. You will be able to access copyrighted material anywhere by logging into HathiTrust with your university or library account. (Indicate on page 4 of the registration form if you are configured to use multi-factor for access)
  • Static, non-NAT IP address: Alternatively, you can access this service via a static, non-NAT IP address IP address which will be registered in our systems. You will only be able to access copyrighted material by logging into HathiTrust with your university or library account and by accessing HathiTrust from the IP address that you have indicated on the form. 

Once we have confirmed the details for secure access, you will receive an automated email invitation to register for the service. The email will contain a unique, temporary password and a link for registration. Please click the link to register within 24 hours. If you fail to log in within the 24 hour period, email HathiTrust and request a new password.

  • Service providers using a static, non-NAT IP address: The computer you use to register in this step will be the only computer you can use to access copyrighted content on HathiTrust. Click the link in the email while using the computer with the static, non-NAT IP address from which you intend to access copyrighted books.

After you’ve successfully registered and our internal processes have completed, you’ll receive an automatic email confirming your account, typically within 24 hours. At this point, you can log into HathiTrust and access copyrighted books to provide to your patrons.

4. Renew access annually

Your access will automatically expire every year in June, unless your authorized representative takes action to renew your access. Typically, the person who was indicated as the authorized representative on the agreement will receive an automated email 60 days before your access expires. In order to continue the access for the designated service provider, the authorized representative needs to respond to the email and confirm that their access should be renewed.

If the authorized representative has left your institution or is no longer the appropriate person to approve this contact, please notify us to update the contact. 

Provide service to eligible users at your institution

After you’ve successfully completed the registration process, you will be able to respond to requests for copyrighted materials from eligible patrons. 

1. Confirm eligibility of patron

After receiving a request from a patron for a copyrighted book in the HathiTrust Digital Library, follow your organizational practices to confirm that the patron is eligible to receive this service as a blind or print disabled user.

2. Access the materials

In order to access materials, you must use the secure method configured above to gain access to copyrighted (limited search-only) books. 

  • Service providers who signed up with multi-factor authentication will be asked to authenticate with the second factor only when accessing copyrighted (limited search-only) books.
  • Service providers who signed up with a static, non-NAT IP address will only be able to access this service while using the computer at the location you registered with in the steps above. If it is a laptop, it must be connected to a persistent IP address. This may require that it be docked at your office location.

The following steps will allow you to access the full view of all copyrighted materials in HathiTrust, once you’ve received a request from an eligible user.

A demonstration of how to switch your role in the interface and download a book is also availalble in this recording of a webinar

  1. Open HathiTrust in your web browser.
  2. Select “LOG IN.”
  3. In the “Select your institution” drop-down menu, select your institution.
  4. When prompted, enter the username and password you use to log into services at your university.
  5. Arrive at “Search HathiTrust’s digital library” on the HathiTrust main page.
  6. In the header, select “Member”. A page will load, prompting you to “Choose a role.”
  7. Select the radio button for “Accessible Text Request Service (ATRS)” Provider” and select the “Submit” button.
  8. Find the book that the patron requested, either by using the url they provided or by using HathiTrust’s search functionality.
  9. In Search Results, locate the item you wish to access. Select the “Full View”, “Limited (search-only)”, or “Temporary Access” link to open the book, or select the “Catalog Record” link to view the record and all associated items.
  10. The book pages should now load in your browser, with a banner message along the top that reads “This work may be in copyright. You have full view access to this item based on your account privileges. Information about use can be found in the HathiTrust Access and Use Policy.”
  11. You can now download the book in the desired format for your user (see next section).
  12. When you have finished downloading the book(s) requested by your eligible users, you can return to browsing HathiTrust for other uses by selecting “ATRS” in the header bar and selecting the radio button for “Member.”

3. Download the book 

After finding the book requested by the patron, you can choose to download the book in either text-only or PDF format.

Text-only version

The text-only version will contain OCR that has been created by automated tools and has not been corrected. Depending on the quality of the original book and the OCR process, the quality of the OCR text may vary. Chapters or headings are not tagged in this format.

To download the text-only version, when the “Special Access” Dialogue Box appears, select “text-only version” link to proceed to the HTML text version of the item. To download the file, use your web browser to “Save Page As” and select a text format and file extension.

PDF version

The PDF version will contain the images of the book pages, with the OCR text embedded within the PDF file. Chapter or section headings may be tagged in the PDF. You can extract the OCR text using a tool like Adobe Acrobat, which will allow you to export to a different file format. You may also wish to run your own OCR tool against the PDF file, such as Adobe tools or ABBYY FineReader.

To download the PDF version, when the “Special Access” Dialogue Box appears, select “OK” to proceed. On the Item full view page, select “Download whole book (PDF)” under “Get This Book.” When the PDF dialogue completes, select “Download PDF.”

4. Distribute the book to the patron

Provide the item to the patron in accordance with the terms of access in your registration agreement. Remind them of the Terms of Use by which they are permitted to use the book.

After they’ve received the file, delete the file from your own computer. Alternatively, if you have edited, corrected, reformatted, or otherwise transformed the file after downloading it from HathiTrust, please contact us about the possibility of depositing that transformed copy for future use by other eligible patrons.