Emergency Temporary Access Service

The Emergency Temporary Access Service permits special access for HathiTrust member libraries that suffer an unexpected or involuntary, temporary disruption to normal operations, such as closure for a public health emergency or natural disaster, requiring the library to be closed to its patrons, or otherwise restrict print collection access services.

The service makes it possible for member library patrons to obtain lawful access to specific digital materials in HathiTrust that correspond to physical books held by their own library. The Emergency Temporary Access Service  enables many HathiTrust member libraries to continue supporting the teaching, learning, and research mission of their institutions during said disruption in service.

Benefits of ETAS

For qualifying libraries that have implemented the service, the Students, Faculty, and Staff at their library may take advantage of the expanded access for a limited time depending on the operational status of their library. They will have:

  • Continued access to the scholarly record of print collections held by their home institution with a digitized copy in HathiTrust.
  • Reading access to the book online, within a web browser.
  • Ability to “check out” a copy for a limited period of time with an auto-renew feature for books still in use. Access to items is 1-1; 1 copy on the member library shelf, 1 individual access to the digital copy; 2 copies, 2 concurrent users of the digital item.


Library & Patrons

  • The service is currently available by request to all HathiTrust member libraries that have experienced unexpected or involuntary, temporary disruption to normal operations, requiring it to be closed to the public, or otherwise restrict collection access services. 
  • Only the Students, Faculty, and Staff as designated by the affected institution are permitted access to eligible items when logged-in to HathiTrust.
  • Specific terms apply for multi-branch libraries and state systems. See the complete Terms of Service

Item Access

  • Through the Emergency Temporary Access Service, users may access a digitized copy in HathiTrust that matches an item held in their institution’s library. The data used to determine which items match derives from print holdings data that libraries submit as part of the library’s membership process. Updates to this data are submitted periodically. Users will not have access to items that are not held by their member library. Users will continue to have access to the millions of items that are in the public domain or that are open with a Creative Commons license. 

Summary Service Terms

  • Services will be provided at HathiTrust’s sole discretion, based on a fair use analysis and an implementation to ensure lawful access under copyright law.  Before HathiTrust can implement Emergency Temporary Access Services, HathiTrust will evaluate a Library’s request to determine whether the situation qualifies. Factors to be taken into account include whether the institution can accurately identify students, faculty and staff during HathiTrust’s login process, and whether HathiTrust has sufficient information to identify the Library’s collections. HathiTrust and member libraries using this temporary service will abide by guiding principles and agree to Terms of Service, though no formal signature is required.

How to Request ETAS

ETAS must be requested by the affected member library via a process detailed below. Once HathiTrust has assessed the request and verified that the emergency situation qualifies, then HathiTrust Digital Library systems will be updated to enable the emergency access. ETAS is a temporary service. HathiTrust will monitor the situation, and emergency access will end when access to the library’s physical collection is restored.

  1. Review the complete Terms of Service.
  2. Send a message to support@hathitrust.org with “Request for ETAS from [Your Institution]” in the subject line. We will confirm receipt of your request and initiate the review process by email with a subject line that starts with HTS-#####.
  3. We will review your request to assess your institution’s qualifications for the service. In order to qualify your institution must
    • Be a HathiTrust member library AND a research library affiliated with an institution of higher education.
    • Have experienced an unexpected or involuntary disruption to services that has required the library to close and suspend patron access to the physical collection.
    • Expect the period without patron access to last longer than 48 hours.
    • Submit documentation to HathiTrust regarding the closure (i.e., campus announcement, closure pages, news, etc.).
    • Verify that only staff, faculty, and current students are able to log in to HathiTrust.
    • NON-U.S. LIBRARIES ONLY: Submit an agreement form that will be sent upon initiation of the request.
  1. During the review process, someone from HathiTrust may contact you to gather more details about disruption your library is experiencing.
  2. If your request is approved, we will alert you to the decision and begin the process to enable the Emergency Temporary Access Service for your institution.
  3. If your request is denied, we will alert you to the decision and explain the rationale. You will have the opportunity to resubmit the request in the event that the situation on your campus changes.

Support and Training

This report identifies which items included in your library's print holdings would be available through the service.

Monitor usage of temporary access titles at your library.

There are multiple ways to help your users find ETAS temporary access titles by integrating records directly or via third-parties.

Information specifically for users of temporary access titles including a student-centric FAQ.

Read some of the basic questions asked by members regarding the Emergency Temporary Access Service.


Contact our member-led user support team for help!