Why Join

HathiTrust’s 200+ research and academic library members leverage their collective resources and vision to steward the largest collection of digital books managed by a non-profit organization thereby strengthening the resilience of the research and academic library community to thrive in the face of challenges. 

Since HathiTrust’s inception in 2008, our members have contributed digital library content and expertise, as well as collaborated on the organization’s strategic direction, governance, collection management, and services. As a result, millions of people around the world benefit from the preserved record of knowledge.


Why Join

As an academic and research library leader, you face many challenges: disruptions in higher education and competitive funding; demands to deliver high-quality digital content; environmental threats to collections; evolving methods of instruction and information access; and an imperative to reckon with centuries of systemic racism and oppression that manifest in our libraries and institutions. 

To continue serving our academic communities and the public as we navigate this new era, we must draw on our strengths to collectively address these and other significant challenges. For 15 years, HathiTrust has been a locus for academic and research libraries seeking to do more together than any one library can do on its own.

Member Benefits

HathiTrust members enjoy and contribute to the following community benefits:

Access: Download complete works in the public domain or those available through open access*  and support opportunities to further lawful access to the 18+ million items in our collection, outside of a licensing or subscription model. See the HathiTrust Access Chart for details.

Preservation: Ensure preservation of the scholarly record at scale and avoid costs of maintaining local preservation program by contributing your library’s unique content. (All works in copyright — regardless of contributing institution — are restricted for reading and downloading access by copyright law.) 

Collaboration: Inform solutions to emerging digital preservation challenges and transform user access and collection management through member-driven working groups and collective action.

Scholarly and Computational Research: Access advanced text and data mining tools through our research center, as well as download public domain items in a variety of formats.

Unique Services: Receive a range of services and programs made possible by the digital library collection from special access to the collection during library emergencies to print preservation in the Shared Print Program.

Support for Accessibility: Offer members of your academic community with print disabilities access to any text in the collection in a format compatible with adaptive technologies. 

Resources and Tools: Keep up with the community and gain additional insight through events, peer-to-peer webinars, publications, and professional development opportunities.

Who Can Join

As a collaborative by libraries and for libraries, HathiTrust welcomes academic and research libraries to join our membership. We are looking for new perspectives and a diversity of libraries to help expand our understanding of common challenges and to meet the needs of more learners, researchers, and educators. We also seek to create paths of entry for academic communities historically excluded from participation by dominant culture. We encourage members from these categories:

  • Academic and research libraries (government and specialized institutions may be considered)
  • University systems of libraries
  • Community colleges

We accept membership inquiries from non-profit research libraries and library consortia worldwide to review on a case-by-case basis.  Note: We do not offer trial memberships. 

Current HathiTrust members

NOT Eligible for Membership

At this time, we do not consider memberships from:

  • Individuals, including independent researchers
  • Libraries associated with for-profit organizations
  • Non-profit organizations without a library
  • Public libraries without a clear research mission
  • Public or private K-12 or secondary school libraries
  • Non-libraries, including publishers

Fundamental Requirements for Joining Members
In addition to the eligibility criteria, prospective members must also be able to meet the following technical, legal, and financial requirements.

Use SAML 2.0-based authentication service Your institution should operate a SAML 2.0-based authentication service, such as Shibboleth or Open Athens to identify an individual’s affiliation to your library. Contact your local or central IT liaison to confirm. 

Sign Legal Contract: Your institution must be able to enter into a Supporting Libraries/Membership Agreement with the University of Michigan on behalf of HathiTrust.

Pay Annual Fees: HathiTrust’s members share the costs of operating our services and programs. Review HathiTrust’s Cost Allocation Model and Tiers for details. Annual fees for the majority of our members range from $6,600 to $13,000 USD depending on your library expenditures and collection details. 

How to Join


  • Review the eligibility, cost, and technical requirements in Who Can Join
  • Obtain leadership-level support for HathiTrust membership. This could be your library dean, faculty department chairs, or provost. 
  • Complete the Membership Intake Form: A HathiTrust team member will review your request and contact you within one week to answer questions and discuss next steps. 


Membership inquiries are reviewed regularly by HathiTrust Governance. Once accepted, the actions listed below complete the path to membership.

  • Obtain Fee Estimate: To develop an estimate of your potential annual fees, you must submit holdings data in the form of OCLC numbers on your library’s physical collections. 
  • Sign a Legal Contract:  Obtain the signature of the person with the legal standing to enter into a Supporting Libraries/Membership Agreement with the University of Michigan on behalf of HathiTrust.
  • Submit Complete Print Holdings: To facilitate service access, libraries must submit a second round of more detailed data on physical collections to facilitate HathiTrust service access. 
  • Test Login and User Authentication Service: The login method authenticates, or proves, an individual’s affiliation to your library. 
  • Submit Annual Fees: Pay annual fees to sustain HathiTrust infrastructure and services, based on the cost allocation model. At the time of joining, we invoice a pro-rated fee for libraries. Full fees are then calculated and invoiced in December for the following year. Members are not invoiced until all joining steps above are complete. 
  • Assign Library Contacts: Provide dedicated contacts to assist in cooperative operations of HathiTrust.  


Questions about joining HathiTrust?

Contact our member-led user support team to get started!