last updated 7/6/2023

Privacy Policy

HathiTrust respects the privacy of all visitors and users of its services.

Our goal is to limit the information we collect to what we need to support your use of HathiTrust Digital LIbrary.

We are committed to using your personal information only for the purposes for which it was collected.

HathiTrust does not sell your personal information and when we share it with outside parties, it is only to enable operations and services on HathiTrust’s behalf, meet legal obligations, or to protect the safety, property, or rights of our community, our guests, or that of HathiTrust’s administrative host, the University of Michigan.

If you have any concerns or questions about how your personal data is used, you can contact us at

What Information We Collect

HathiTrust collects the following personal information in these ways:

  • When you directly provide it to us, such as your identity, when you log in. What we collect depends, in part, on the information sent to us by your institution when you log in, which may include a pseudonymous identifier and your institutional affiliation. HathiTrust may also collect additional information such as your name and email address.
  • When you create personalized collections, HathiTrust records your user identifier and the items you add to the collection. Depending on the information sent to us by your institution when you log in, HathiTrust may include your email address and name with your collection as well. This information will be visible to others if you choose to make your collection public.
  • When technology we use captures your information automatically, such as information about the searches you perform, items you view, and other actions you perform (captured in our locally-hosted Matomo analytics, in system logs, and in application logs). This includes your IP address, information about your device and web browser, the date and time of the action, your user identification (if logged in), and the action performed.
  • When you contact us via email to, which generates a ticket in our ticketing system. Information collected includes your email address and any other identifying information you include in your message (e.g., affiliation, title, contact information).

HathiTrust retains log information as required by the University of Michigan information security policies:

How We Use Personal Information


HathiTrust’s access systems frequently track or “log” the actions performed by users of those systems. In some cases, specialized services or enhancements to system functionality require retaining the transaction logging. In other cases, data that can be tied to individuals will be kept intact only for a limited period of time. Its use will be restricted to troubleshooting and problem resolution related to system functions and service transactions. It is HathiTrust’s policy that no transaction logging containing personal information will be shared with third parties.

Information from transaction logs may be aggregated for reporting on types of use and uses of materials. For this purpose, information regarding individual identities or the source of the transaction will be removed. We will keep information only as long as necessary for the purposes for which it is being used.

HathiTrust uses a locally hosted instance of Matomo Analytics software to track usage data. When you visit our site, we will store: the website from which you arrived, the parts of our site you visit, the date and duration of your visit, your anonymised IP address, information from the device (device type, operating system, screen resolution, language, country you are located in, and web browser type) you used during your visit, and more. We process this usage data in Matomo Analytics locally for statistical purposes, to improve our site, and to recognize and stop any misuse.

Opt-out of website tracking

You may choose to prevent this website from aggregating and analyzing the actions you take here. Doing so will protect your privacy, but will also prevent the owner from learning from your actions and creating a better experience for you and other users. You can opt out of being tracked by our Matomo Analytics instance below:


HathiTrust uses Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) authentication with Shibboleth to allow individuals affiliated with partner institutions to authenticate into HathiTrust. More about SAML, including privacy, is available on HathiTrust’s SAML authentication implementation page.

Individuals not affiliated with partner institutions can authenticate as a guest to create permanent collections in HathiTrust’s Collection Builder. Guest access requires either setting up a University of Michigan Friend Account using a valid email address or linking an active social media account

  • Users with Friend Accounts may choose a username to build collections in HathiTrust. 
  • Users linking social media accounts may share name and email address. Different social accounts send different identity information to the third-party social login vendor (Cirrus Identity) which manages verification. HathiTrust accepts and stores only the minimal information needed to provide you with access to this service. 

If users choose to make collections public, their username is displayed in the public list of collections on the Collection Builder home page. No information is displayed if collections are made private.

If you linked your social media account to HathiTrust for a particular service, you may want to unlink it when you no longer need the service. You can request that the account be unlinked by contacting the University of Michigan’s ITS Service Center.

Surveys and Assessment

We may collect personal iInformation and data to support assessment of services, collections, resources, or in support of research related to repository services.  Such information is considered confidential and its use will be restricted to the specific purpose for which it was collected, and retained only as long as is necessary to attain that purpose.

With Whom We Share Personal Information

We do not sell or rent your personal information collected here. We may, however, share your personal information in limited circumstances, such as with partners or external service providers that support our business activities. Specifically, we share your information with the following service providers:

Atlassian Jira

HathiTrust uses Jira, a hosted service provided by Atlassian, for issue tracking. When you contact us via or submit a question or problem using the webform on our website, a ticket is generated in Jira with information about your request, including: your name, email address, IP address, web browser version, operating system version, whether or not and (if so) how you are logged in, the page from which you submitted the feedback form, and any other identifying information you include in your message (e.g., affiliation, title, contact information). This information, as well as any other data you share with our support team, is covered under the Atlassian privacy policy. 

We may also share your personal information when required by law, or when we believe sharing will help to protect the safety, property, or rights of HathiTrust, our community, our guests, or that of HathiTrust’s administrative host, the University of Michigan.

Personally Identifiable Information in Works in the Repository

It is HathiTrust’s general policy, in consultation with depositing institutions, to remove access to works or portions of works when significant personally identifiable information is exposed that creates a cause for concern (e.g., Social Security numbers of individuals). Works where access is limited in this way will be indicated as “Limited (search-only)” in HathiTrust search interfaces, and the landing page for an item itself or relevant portions of the item will indicate that the item has been closed due to privacy concerns.  If you wish to report PII observed in materials in the HathiTrust collection, please contact

Privacy Notice Changes

This privacy notice may be updated from time to time. We will post the date our notice was last updated at the top of this privacy notice.


Contact our member-led user support team for help!