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HathiTrust Digital Library: Worksets

The HathiTrust Digital Library brings together the immense collections of partner institutions in digital form, preserving them securely to be accessed and used today, and in future generations.

What's a Workset?

Worksets serve to define the scope of the group of texts being analyzed, in order to conduct research on them effectively. Thus, worksets allow researchers to cut out the "noise" or irrelevant material that would be there if analysis were to be carried out across the entire scope of the HathiTrust corpus.

Worksets have two functions:


  • Gather material of interest in one place (like a "virtual study carrel")
  • Users can search/metadata criteria to "slice and dice" results into a usable workset


  • Delimit the "scope" of the analysis
  • You don’t want to run your analysis on the whole of the HathiTrust collection — you want to run it only on material that is interesting/relevant to you

Learn how to create a workset in the HTRC documentation: 

Note that you need to have an account with HathiTrust set up before accessing these resources.

Credit and Licensing


Adopted from A Guide to the HathiTrust Research Center from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Library Scholarly Commons.


Creative Commons License

Except where otherwise indicated, original content in this guide is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license. You are free to share, adopt, or adapt the materials. We encourage broad adoption of these materials for teaching and other professional development purposes, and invite you to customize them for your own needs.