Immediately after the HathiTrust announcement, one blog said that we'd built the digital library but forgot the front door. Why? Because there was no search functionality included in the initial release.
Large scale search has always been a goal (see http://www.hathitrust.org/large_scale_search for more), and we now have the first attempt at meeting that goal. Come through the door of our public beta at http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/ls
As an initial public beta of full text search functionality, we are offering a simple mechanism to search across all of the fully viewable works (both those in the public domain and those for which we have permissions) and a sprinkling of search-only works (i.e., in-copyright works where we may not show the text of the work). The size of the content indexed is approximately 500,000 volumes, and the majority of the works are fully viewable. This implementation does not include functionality in use elsewhere in HathiTrust (e.g., no sorting or collection-related functionality), and does not have features like clustering of results which are likely to be in a fuller implementation. For this public beta, we have devoted limited system resources such as system processing speed. A full implementation with more robust resources is being planned. Although most searches produce results quickly, some may take several minutes and in fact fail to produce results.