Skip to main content

How do I find ebooks?

A guide on how to find ebooks for your research.

About HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service

HathiTrust is a shared collection of scanned books from a number of major research libraries, including the University of Chicago Library. Many books that were scanned are still protected by copyright and are usually not accessible. HathiTrust, through its Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), has enabled access to books in copyright during the Library's closure, with some limitations:

  • UChicago users can only access HathiTrust books that the Library holds in print.
  • Access is limited to the number of print copies in the Library. If the Library holds one copy of a book, only one person at time can access it at HathiTrust
  •  Alumni and other University affiliates do not have access to books in ETAS because of copyright restrictions.

Finding Books Included in ETAS

The best way to find books that can be accessed through this program is to search the Library Catalog. Library staff have worked with HathiTrust to identify which books in the Library's collection have been scanned and are in HathiTrust. Books included in ETAS will have a link out.
Image of HathiTrust Emaregency Access link

Checking Out ETAS Books

You will be asked to login with your CNetID and password when you click the link from the Library Catalog. This is because access to HathiTrust books that are in copyright is only available to people affiliated with participating libraries.

You'll see the option to check the book out at the top of the page
Check out text book

In some cases, you will need to scroll down the page and find a link that says Temporary Access. This is the case if there are multiple copies of a book available, multiple volumes or for journals.
Image of temporary access link

You'll have the book for one hour and others will be unable to get access. Your book will auto-renew after an hour.

Returning your book

You can return a book when you are finished. We suggest you do this as a courtesy to others, as most of our books are limited to one copy.
Click the Return Early button at the top of the page to return a book.
return early image

Saving and downloading

Saving and downloading pages are no longer allowed, as these books are still in copyright. This was a policy adjustment made by HathiTrust.

What if a book is checked out?

You will see a notification if a book is use. There is not a way to reserve it, so you will need to check back periodically. You can search within a book that is in use.
all books in use image

Library Catalog Search

Search the Library Catalog