Throwback Thursday: HeinOnline Then and Now

Shannon Furtak

Exactly 14 years ago today, on May 1, 2000, HeinOnline was launched to the library community! The database has grown exponentially since then and is now available in more than 3,200 locations in over 175 countries. HeinOnline is the world’s largest image-based legal research collection and contains more than nine centuries of legal history. In order to see how far we’ve come, let’s take a look back to where we began.

In 2000, there were 270,000 total images, and the content consisted only of law journals. The interface looked like this:



HeinOnline images looked like this:


HeinOnline grew rapidly over the next few years and was recognized for its achievements with several prestigious awards. In July 2001, HeinOnline earned the “Best New Product” award from the American Association of Law Libraries. The International Association of Law Libraries named HeinOnline the “2002 Best Commercial Website” in November of that year. Meanwhile, HeinOnline was busy adding content, including the Federal Register and Legal Classics libraries.

By early 2006, barely five years after its debut, the database contained nearly 19.3 million pages; by the middle of the same year, it boasted subscribers from 100% of the top 50 and 92% of the top 100 law firms. Late in 2007, the positive recognition continued, with HeinOnline named to the “2007 E-Content 100, a list of companies that matter most in the digital content industry.”

Over the next several years, HeinOnline continued the Hein Company tradition of excellence in service and value by adding several million pages of content, new libraries and features, and improvements to the interface and operation of the database. A major enhancement added was ScholarCheck, a series of tools integrated throughout various HeinOnline collections that enabled the user to easily view journal articles that heavily influenced the subject being researched. HeinOnline also continued to be recognized by those it served, winning major awards in 2009 and 2011.

For a comprehensive overview of the most important dates in HeinOnline history, check out this timeline that includes all major awards received, accomplishments achieved and milestones reached between May of 2000 and late 2013.

Today, HeinOnline contains over 106 million pages, more than 50 libraries, and a modern, user-friendly interface. The searching capabilities are now extremely powerful, including the ability to search across all collections and by various metadata within individual collections.  Recently, we partnered with FastCase to offer incredibly convenient access to case law without the hassle of having to use multiple databases for your legal research, at no additional cost to HeinOnline Core subscribers! We also enhanced our Welcome Screen this year to enable users to search a single collection, find any Bluebook citation available in HeinOnline, enter FastCase citations and access MyHein — all in one convenient area:



HeinOnline will continue to grow, add value, increase our scope of coverage, improve the interface, and maintain our reputation as one of the best providers of customer service in the industry! As always, customer feedback is encouraged and every inquiry is addressed personally by our Support Team.

Contact us for help & support at (800) 277-6995, holsupport@wshein.com, or via LiveChat!

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