The Harvard Library
The Harvard Library (library.harvard.edu) serves as a hub for research support by providing access to digital learning resources, special collections, and archives across the University. Library collections, services, and tools are made accessible and available to researchers at Harvard online and in-person; many digital collections are openly available to all. The Library also provides expert guidance on how to use and navigate these services, as well as a variety of spaces that encourage both independent and collaborative learning. Harvard Library also partners with faculty across the university to design classes tailored to course goals. More information on these initiatives can be found at Get Teaching Support For Your Courses. Librarians offer a variety of services to users: research assistance online and in person, individual consultations by appointment, support in the use of research management tools, media authoring and data, as well as collaborating with faculty and teaching fellows to design course-integrated research instruction. This work is done in the spirit of the Library’s mission to advance scholarship and teaching by committing itself to the creation, application, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge.
A major starting point for research is the Harvard Library website, library.harvard.edu, an online gateway to the library resources of Harvard University. The site serves as an important research tool for Harvard’s current students, faculty, staff, and researchers. It provides access to electronic resources and journals licensed by the libraries, as well as links to all of the library’s holdings.
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 they’re open, visit library.harvard.edu/libraries
Special Collections and Archives
Harvard Library also includes many unique materials across its special collections and archives that enable new discoveries by faculty and students. These primary source materials can range from documents to images to artifacts and more -- like handwritten poetry by some of the best known authors of our time, campaign materials from decades past, and images that capture people and places as they once were. Learn how to find and use our Special Collections and Archives on the library website.
Explore Digital Collections
Harvard has created a growing number of curated, online collections, including photographs, documents, musical scores, prints, drawings, historical maps, books, legal transcripts, diaries, manuscripts, and more.
Librarians within each of the libraries can help instructors assist their students in the effective use of Harvard’s extraordinary library resources. Each FAS department has a designated library liaison, dedicated to assisting faculty, staff, and students. Library Liaisons work with courses, provide one-on-one research consultation, assist with content for course websites, and provide general reference and referral services to the department.
Some helpful online resources include:
Library Catalog (HOLLIS)
HOLLIS is the library catalog for Harvard University. It contains records for digital resources, books, journals, manuscripts, government documents, maps, microforms, scores, recordings, visual materials, data files, and more.
Browse research guides and FAQs that will help you find what you need.
Borrow books directly from the libraries of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale. HarvardKey required.
Request circulating materials from libraries outside of the Borrow Direct family. HarvardKey required.
Electronic document delivery service for Harvard students, faculty, and staff. HarvardKey required.
Have a question about the library, or about Harvard? Email, call, text, or chat with a librarian via the Ask a Librarian service.
The Lean Library extension provides quick and simple access to digital content purchased by Harvard Library.
Zotero is a research management software program that enables you to save and organize your references, then output them as in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliographies through a word-processing software plugin.