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Course & Subject Guides

HathiTrust Digital Library @ Pitt: U.S. Federal Government Documents

This guide explains HathiTrust and its benefits to the Pitt community.

U.S. Government Information LibGuide

Submitting Feedback

Not all U.S. federal government documents are available for full view on HathiTrust. Some have legitimate copyright issues, but others have been incorrectly cataloged. You can click the feedback button on the document's record (visible below) to suggest the item be opened up for full view. Review of the document will take some time, so it probably won't be opened right away. 

Federal Government Documents on HathiTrust

HathiTrust has a wealth of scanned U.S. federal government documents available. Government documents are generally not subject to copyright law, so they have been a focus of the scanning efforts by the various contributing organizations. 

HathiTrust has also created a comprehensive U.S. Government Documents Registry. The goal of the registry is to have bibliographic information about every U.S. federal government document published, whether or not it's present in HathiTrust. This work is ongoing.

Government Documents Search Tips

  • The same item may be cataloged differently on different records. For example, Administration of the Federal Coal-Mine Safety Act, 1952-61, from the Bureau of Mines, is on both its own individual record and as no.8133 on the series record for the Bureau of Mines Information Circulars
  • The quality and legibility of the page images can vary widely depending upon the source. If you encounter a tough-to-read item, see if it's available from another library, either on the same catalog record or a different one.  
  • Though almost all U.S. federal government documents are fully viewable by anyone, HathiTrust still requires a login to download documents. (Please see the box below for instructions.)

Logging in to HathiTrust

To access all the content and services available to Pitt users you must first log in by following these steps:

  1. Go to the HathiTrust homepage.
  2. Click on the yellow 'Log In' button.
  3. Select University of Pittsburgh from the drop-down menu and click 'Continue.'
  4. Enter your Pitt Passport username and passport and click 'Submit.'
  5. You'll have to use the multifactor authentication service to authorize your login if you haven't already done so. 
  6. You should see a message stating you're logged in.