The COVID-19 pandemic has made the collections of many research libraries around the United States physically inaccessible — including the more than 3 million volumes in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s libraries and the Marvin and Virginia Schmid Law Library.
Through an emergency agreement with the HathiTrust Digital Library, a digital repository that provides long-term preservation and access services for millions of books and journals digitized from its member libraries’ collections, 50 percent of the collection in university libraries is temporarily available to students, faculty and staff.
The University Libraries, a longstanding member of the HathiTrust community, was one of 110 libraries that applied for the Emergency Temporary Access Service. Claire Stewart, dean of University Libraries, and Casey Hoeve, associate professor and head of content and collections, completed the application for the university.
“I know how frustrating this is for our faculty and students to not have access to physical materials,” Stewart said. “That is why we are excited to announce that the HathiTrust Digital Library is temporarily expanding access for our users during this emergency and at least half our collection will be available online.”
The main features of the emergency access are:
Continued access to the physical scholarly record — the university’s print collection — via digital copies in HathiTrust.
Reading access to books online, within a web browser (no full downloads).
Ability to “check out” a copy for 60 minutes, with an auto-renew feature for books in active use, and with a maximum use time of two hours.
Since approval, Hoeve and others have developed a library guide that provides faculty and students easy-to-follow login procedures and additional information about the HathiTrust Digital Library and emergency access.
To search for HathiTrust (Expanded) online materials:
visit the HathiTrust digital library;
click or tap “Log in;”
select “University of Nebraska-Lincoln” from the drop-down menu; and
click or tap “continue.
Individuals will be prompted to log in with university credentials.