HathiTrust Adds Grolier Publications to Archives

Catalogue of an exhibition of selected works of the poets laureate of England (New York: Grolier Club, 1901).

On the heels of Internet Archive's recent decision to launch a "National Emergency Library" by offering access to 1.4 million books during the coronavirus pandemic--now embroiled in debate as to whether the move is an act of piracy rather than lending-- another enterprise known as HathiTrust recently announced freely accessible additions to its database, but the comparisons end there. 

Launched in 2008 as a collaborative library initiative, HathiTrust boasts over 17 million fully digitized books, of which many are available to a consortium of over 90 academic and research institutions. Hosted at the University of Michigan, the program took shape when Google partnered with universities in an effort to create Google Books.

Unlike Internet Archive, HathiTrust maintains restrictions on how its holdings are accessed; over 6 million of the books in HathiTrust are in the public domain and are available for perusal, while the remainder of the collections still under copyright cannot be viewed or downloaded. In the wake of covid-19, HathiTrust issued new guidance for scholars trying to access its archives remotely by granting emergency temporary access by request only. (More information on who is eligible, what's available for review, and how to request emergency access here.) 

And now, some of the Grolier Club's publications have been digitized and added to the virtual archives, with 188 unique items available for perusal, ranging from the 1910 volume showcasing reproductions of the etched work of Whistler to a 1907 history of the life and library of the club's namesake, French bibliophile Jean Grolier. 

Though some elements of the archive are only accessible through an account at a partner institution, much is available to the independent scholar. Details on how to use this massive resource are here.