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HathiTrust ADA Procedures: Staff Guide

This guide is dedicated to assisting staff members with obtaining ADA-compliant files for UWF staff/students via HathiTrust.



Eligible Patron: an affiliated user at a Supporting Institution who has a print disability for which access to digital copies of library books is a reasonable and appropriate accommodation.

Print disability: a disability – such as a visual impairment, learning disability physical disability, or other disability – that impedes a person’s ability to access print in the standard way.

Proxy: a representative designated by a HathiTrust Supporting Institution who accesses in-copyright content on behalf of an Eligible Patron.

Guidelines for Accessing Materials

The Proxy is given access to in-copyright content only for the purposes of making content available to Eligible Patrons. The Proxy receives requests from Eligible Patrons, authenticates to HathiTrust through the HathiTrust Web interface from a designated IP address, navigates to a designated volume, downloads it, and make it available to the Eligible Patron.

The Proxy must not access in-copyright content for personal purposes or distribute content to users who are not authorized to receive content. In-copyright content is only accessible to the Proxy from within the United States, and in-copyright works must not be distributed to Eligible Patrons who are located outside the United States. Works downloaded from HathiTrust include a cover sheet that clearly indicates the copyright status of the work and the terms of access and use. If the Proxy has any questions about proper use of the material or suspects that unauthorized access to in-copyright works has occurred, the Proxy should contact HathiTrust immediately at

The Proxy must delete all copies of an item once it has been confirmed that the Eligible Patron has the item in his or her possession. Local copies may not be stored on the Proxy’s personal computer, even in the case that the Proxy expects that another student will request the same item.

When communicating with the Eligible Patron about accessing in-copyright works from HathiTrust, the Proxy must confirm that the Eligible Patron understands:

  • The copyrighted nature of the content;
  • Why they are being granted access to the work;
  • That the cover sheet indicating the copyright status and terms of use must remain with the work at all times;
  • That the PDF is for personal use only and may not be shared with anyone else or copied beyond purposes to facilitate personal use;
  • That if the Eligible Patron has any questions about proper use of the material or suspects unauthorized access to the material, the Eligible Patron should contact the Proxy immediately

HathiTrust Print Disabilities Access

Through a designated proxy, eligible Patrons at HathiTrust Supporting Institutions can receive special access to in-copyright materials in HathiTrust. The materials must be held currently, or have been held previously, by the Supporting Institution’s library, as indicated through print holdings information submitted to HathiTrust. Further terms and conditions of access are detailed below.