14 Million Books & 6 Million Visitors: HathiTrust Growth and Usage in 2016

February 10, 2017

By Angelina Zaytsev, Collection Services Librarian


The HathiTrust collection continues to grow steadily. As of January 1st, 2017, there are 14,816,187 volumes in the collection. Over one million volumes were added to the collection over the course of the preceding year, scanned from the library collections of 39 contributors. These included several new, unique collections, such as:

Within the HathiTrust certified trusted repository, 38% of the collection is available to users to access in full view, and the remaining 62% is made available in other ways: all users can search across and within those limited view books; researchers can now perform transformational, non-consumptive research within these books; and users with print disabilities can access the full text.

What is usage like for a digital library of 14.8 million volumes? And who are our users?

Over 6.17 million users visited the HathiTrust Digital Library website over the course of 2016, culminating in 10.92 million sessions. About 49% of our users were located in the United States in 2016. This was a rise from 46% last year, but the percentage has hovered around 50% for years. The remaining 51% of users are scattered across a long tail of 236 other nations, topped by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Italy, India, France, China, Australia, and Spain. Our users are primarily English speakers, as detected by the language of their browsers.

They come to our Digital Library from a variety of sources, including referrals from search engines (40%) and referrals from other websites (39%), such as library catalogs and services that list digital books, and 1.16% of users arrived from social media sources. Once on our site, they read a miscellaneous assortment of books, including novels, genealogical books, and other historical titles.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to read the full report (PDF).