Answered By: Steve Runge Last Updated: Jun 07, 2016 Views: 40
"Hathi Trust is a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future." (From the Hathi Trust website.) It is likely the largest single collection of digitized books in the world; more books are added daily. Approximately 2.5 million titles are accessible directly through the BC Library Catalog.
The titles that are available full-text are in the public domain.*
You can also search directly on the site, and read texts online. If you log in through your partner institution (Choose Boston College in the drop-down, and then log in using your BC credentials), you can also download full texts, and create collections, which is a great way to assemble all the books you'll need for a research project.
*Public Domain: either the owner of copyright has voluntarily forfeited copyright, or that copyright has expired (right now, copyright in the US is set at 70 years after the death of the creator). At present, works published before 1923 are in the public domain. (However, unpublished works are still understood to be in copyright for 70 years after the death of the author, so many of these are still in copyright.)