The HathiTrust Digital Library’s potential for musicology research

J. Stephen Downie, Sayan Bhattacharyya, Francesca Giannetti, Eleanor Dickson Koehl, Peter Organisciak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The HathiTrust Digital Library (HTDL) is one of the largest digital libraries in the world, containing seventeen million volumes from the collections of major academic and research libraries. In this paper, we discuss the HTDL’s potential for musicology research by providing a bibliometric analysis of the collection as a whole, and of the music materials in particular. A series of case studies illustrates the kinds of musicological research that may be conducted using the HTDL. We highlight several opportunities for improvement and discuss promising future directions for new knowledge creation through the processing and analysis of large amounts of retrospective data. The HTDL presents significant new opportunities to the study of music that will continue to expand as data, metadata and collection enhancements are introduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-358
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal on Digital Libraries
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Digital humanities
  • Digital libraries
  • Distant reading
  • Musicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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