HathiTrust partners pay for the basic infrastructure costs of content preserved in the repository, including the costs of storage, backup, data centers, servers, and some staff. In 2013, HathiTrust moved to a new model of distributing fees among the partners that is based on the benefits partners derive from the aggregate collection. In this model, fees are comprised of two elements: first, partners pay an evenly distributed share of the cost to support public domain volumes in HathiTrust; second, partners pay a share of the cost of in-copyright volumes that overlap with volumes held in their print collections.

The pricing model is based on the receipt of holdings information from institutions, which is also used to facilitate lawful uses of in-copyright materials (see Accessibility and Access to Out-of-Print and Brittle or Missing Items). Our page on Print Holdings provides details on the information that must be submitted for partnership, and requirements for receiving a fee estimate.  Our Partnership Checklist provides an overview of the items and information required for partnership. A summary of the pricing model is provided below. Additional information, including a detailed description of the model, and pricing model FAQ, are also available.

Pricing Model

Fees for partners are determined on the basis of several “fixed” elements (designed to pay for basic repository work) that are calculated on a yearly basis, and one adjustable element (designed to pay for programmatic activities). The fixed elements are:

  • The number of public domain volumes in HathiTrust (PD).
  • The number of in-copyright volumes in a partner’s print holdings that overlap with HathiTrust digital holdings (IC). These calculations include print volumes that are, or were previously held by the partner institution.
  • The number of partners that hold a particular in copyright volume (H).
  • The total number of partners (N).
  • The basic infrastructure costs for preserving volumes in HathiTrust (C). Infrastructure costs are determined based on the amount of content Supporting Institutions estimate to deposit in the coming calendar year.

The adjustable element is a flexible multiplier (X), set by the Board of Governors, whose purpose is to generate surplus to develop new services and functionality for HathiTrust. The HathiTrust Board of Governors has determined that a multiplier value of 1.5 yields a surplus that is sufficient to support current programmatic activities. The Board of Governors will review this value periodically.

Institutions pay:

  • An evenly distributed share of the cost to support public domain volumes in HathiTrust, or


  • A share of the cost of in-copyright volumes in the HathiTrust repository that overlap with volumes currently or previously held by the Supporting Institution. The cost for a given in-copyright volume is determined as below:

IC = (C*X)/H

Fees are billed in January of each full year an institution participates in HathiTrust, and prorated for partial years.