OSINT-y Goodness, №16 — HathiTrust Digital Library

The HathiTrust Digital Library is a collaboration between academic and research institutions, providing digitized material from libraries from around the world.

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Hathi is the Hindi word for elephant. It’s pronounced, I think, like, “ha-thee.”

At the time of this blog post, the HathiTrust Digital Library has over 4,600 collections of digital resources. Keep in mind that a “collection” can contain thousands of titles, so this is a very large repository of digital material!

The first thing to understand is that this resource has the maximum value if you utilize it as a logged in member. Interestingly, there is a “guest login” that appears to work simply by logging in to the site through a social media account. If you belong to an organization that is a partner with the HathiTrust, that will give you the most comprehensive access and functions.

Using the site without logging in:

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This is what you can access on the HathiTrust site without logging in.

Guest login:

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Interestingly, you can login with your social media account to get access to other features.

Participating institution access:

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Just a sample of the institutions with a partnership to the HathiTrust Digital Library.

The rest of this blog post will only provide example as a user not logged into the site.

Searching the site:

This is the main search area for the site. This is your basic Google style of throwing search terms in and seeing what comes up. The equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.

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Start your search!

Get all Boolean up in here and use some “and” and “or” commands to narrow down your search. This drop-down menu gives you some categories to search.

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Use this search for finding data within a specific publication.
Use this search for general categories and collections.

Getting down to business:

Searching by the keyword “cybersecurity” yielded 2,703 full-text results.

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As you can see from the above graphic, the majority of the authors of those 2,703 results are from U.S. Government resources. While these resources could then, in theory, be retrieved from other sites like GovInfo.gov, this search engine in HathiTrust might be a littler easier than trying to navigate some of the U.S. Government sites.

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One example of the many resources available from the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Clicking into the “full text view” of the first result for the “cybersecurity” search gives you a PDF of a congressional document. That can be downloaded as a PDF or read online.

A second search using the term malware resulted in 1,193 full-text results. It’s interesting to note how many different languages the material of the the HathiTrust is in.

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Many different languages for malware articles!

A third search in the “Collections” area of the site using the term “technology” yielded a lot of results. This time, I paid attention to the different years of the material available. Digitized documents from 1962, for example, were readily available.

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Get digitized documents from ye oldern days!

Ultimately, this HathiTrust Digital Library probably isn’t your go-to resource for technology and cybersecurity related articles. Rather, it is valuable to track down journals and publications if you are researching an individual and validating their writing.

The News and Publications section of the site is good to check for updates about the site/collection, and for instructional material of the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Overall, this is another useful site for tracking down academic types of publications for the general public. It could be a useful resource for the Information Security community because the search engine is rather friendly and quickly gives you free digitized copies of the material as a PDF. Keep this in your arsenal as a site for obtaining academic, scholarly, and government publications.

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Written by

#Librarian turned #InformationSecurity professional. Your guide up a mountain of information!

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