Harvard Library System

The Harvard Library 

A global leader, Harvard Library (library.harvard.edu) is an unparalleled resource for teaching, learning, and research. We are expert partners on the pathways to knowledge. We engage with our communities in the creation and sharing of new knowledge, connecting them with vast collections that we curate and steward with collaborators around the world. At its core, our mission is to advance the learning, research, and pursuit of truth that are at the heart of Harvard.

Harvard Library


A four-centuries old institution, Harvard Library—the administrative entity that connects collections and expert library staff across Harvard—emerged from a transformative change in 2012 that brought together a number of library operations and developed university-wide policies for collections and user services. Harvard Library is made up of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences libraries (including the Harvard College Library) and Harvard’s professional school libraries.


Extraordinary collections number over 20 million volumes, 400 million manuscripts, 10 million photographs, 1 million maps, and tens of millions of digital images. We collaborate in our collecting with peer institutions in ReCAP and IvyPlus, multiplying our users’ access to materials.


Today, Harvard’s library holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding digital resources. We provide the University’s faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with comprehensive access  to the materials and resources they need.


Find Your Library


Harvard Library is a multi-library system with several locations across the University’s campus and beyond. For a complete directory of libraries and hours, including virtual hours, visit library.harvard.edu/libraries.


Special Collections and Archives


Harvard Library is home to all kinds of historical documents and objects that can enhance your research and teaching. You can connect with a range of primary sources including letters, photographs, books, scores, and digital materials.  The process for finding and accessing these rare and unique materials is different from other library materials. Use this guide to get started. 


Digital Collections


Harvard has over six million artifacts available in its digital collections. They're available to the public online, regardless of Harvard affiliation. Digitized items include images, pages from books, manuscripts, legal documents, sheet music, recipes, and much more. We have a number of curated digital collections for use.


Teaching Support


We work with faculty across the university to design classes tailored to course goals. Whether that's an online session about leveraging library resources for research in a particular topic area or using the library's special collections and archives in your teaching, we can make it happen

We also offer many resources for remote teaching, including digital course reserves, remote media help, syllabus substitutions, virtual library instruction—and more.

FAS departments have a designated library liaison who works with faculty and departments to provide access to both materials and services tailored to the work you do in your discipline.


Popular Library Services and Tools:


Ask a Librarian

Have a question about the library or about Harvard? Email, call, text, or chat with a librarian via the Ask a Librarian service.


Check Harvard Library Bookmark

Need access to an online article? Use this bookmarklet to get quick access to subscriptions purchased by Harvard Library.


Lean Library (browser extension)

The Lean Library extension provides quick and simple access to digital content purchased by Harvard Library.


Library catalog (HOLLIS)

HOLLIS is Harvard Library's catalog. Search HOLLIS for books, articles, media and more. If the item you're looking for is unavailable at Harvard, you may be able to borrow it directly from another library.


Scan & Deliver

It's a free electronic document delivery service for the Harvard community. Submit a request and we'll scan a journal article or book chapter and deliver it to you via email.