This is the old version of the H2O platform and is now read-only. This means you can view content but cannot create content. You can access the new platform at https://opencasebook.org. Thank you.


Welcome to H2O!

H2O is a suite of open-source, online classroom tools. These tools allow professors to develop, rearrange, and share online textbooks and course modules under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. H2O is the home of a growing number of online textbooks and course modules from universities across the United States.

H2O is a joint project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Harvard Law School Library, and the Library Innovation Lab.

Why H2O?

H2O helps instructors create customized textbooks that are fluid and light. Professors and students can develop, edit, organize, and share course materials that are open and free for everyone to access and build upon.

You can use H2O to:

  • -Create a digitial textbook or casebook, or adapt an existing digital textbook/casebook 
  • -Annotate, highlight, and edit cases and materials
  • -Export materials into Word for printing or reformatting

By using H20, you can avoid carrying around traditional, often expensive and heavy textbooks that can contain large amounts of extraneous material. H2O instead allows access to your finely tuned course materials on any web-enabled device, such as a personal computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

H2O also enables you to print some or all of a textbook's content, if you wish to have a hard copy of the materials.

Basic features of H2O


A playlist is a collection of content. In digital music, a playlist is a collection of songs. In H2O, a playlist is a collection of online content, such as:

  • -Cases
  • -Text
  • -Audio
  • -Video
  • -Images
  • -Links
  • -PDF files

You can arrange and edit a playlist to suit your needs.

Annotated Item

An annotated item is an editable version of a case or other text. When you edit an H2O annotated item, you can:

  • -Hide, show, or replace (overlay) a range of text
  • -Annotate text with a comment or link
  • -Highlight or tag portions of text 

Public or private content

You can make any H2O item that you own public or private.

If an item is public, other users can add the item to their playlists. Other users can clone and edit public playlists and annotated items to suit their particular needs.


You can create your own version of someone else's public annotated items and playlists by cloning them. H2O captures and displays the name of the original author along with their annotations, but allows the owner of the cloned item to modify or create new annotations as needed.

Supported browsers

While H2O also works with other browsers, such as Internet Explorer version 9 and Safari, it is optimized for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

To reach H2O, open a browser and go to:


You can now access materials, sign in or create an account.