Ten Things You Need to Know About the Harvard University Archives

Photo ID number: A7873_NS, from a glass plate expedition negative stored at the MFA. Photo taken at Harvard Camp on George Reisner's seventieth birthday, left to right: Evelyn Perkins, Mrs. Mary Reisner, George Reisner, Miss Mary Reisner, Dorothy Ginger, with workmen behind and boys in front; Photographer: Mohammedani Ibrahim (expedition photographer), photo date: 11/05/1937

  1. Reading room regular hours are 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.  Check our website for holiday closings and other special hours.
  2. Start your research ASAP – background reading and HOLLIS searches are a good way to begin.
  3. You are always welcome to contact us to schedule an individual research appointment to discuss sources for your topic.
  4. Archives’ stacks are closed to browsing, and material does not circulate.
  5. Restrictions on access apply to some material – check with the reference staff for details.
  6. Some material is stored off site and requires a day or more for retrieval.
  7. All bags, backpacks, coats, laptop cases, water bottles, etc. must be left in lockers. The only things you can bring into the reading room are laptops (no cases), notebook paper, and pencils (no pens!)
  8. There’s no self-service photocopying available. You may use your digital camera in the reading room (please check with reference staff first) or order photocopies (check with reference staff for cost information.)
  9. Keep track of what you’ve used – you’ll need that information, especially call numbers, for citations.
  10. PLEASE ask the reference staff for help anytime – use the Ask an Archivist page to browse FAQs, send a question, or find contact information for the Archives

Use HOLLIS to find both books and articles

HOLLIS searches for books and articles in a single search. For best results, sign in to HOLLIS using your Harvard Key as soon as you enter the resource (sign in is in the upper right-hand corner of the screen; if you sign in, you'll get more full-text).

Getting Around in the Libraries



Harvard Library hours vary by location, so be sure to check if the library is open before you go!


Tracing Ancestry

Ancestry Library Edition: an extensive collection of vital records, directories, censuses, military records, and other material from the United States and Canada

Google Scholar Special Free Access

Google Scholar is the scholarly part of Google, offering the kinds of articles Professor Manuelian wants you to use in your research.

If you use this specific link to Google Scholar you'll get free access to the full-text of those articles (if you just go into Google Scholar from Google you'll be asked by Google to use a credit card to pay for that full-text). Use the special, bolded link above and you'll be asked to enter your Harvard Key; enter those and get loads of free full-text.

Research Time Savers / Avoiding Plagiarism

The Harvard Guide to Using Sources: how to use sources in academic papers. Includes the chapters, Why Use Sources? and Avoiding Plagiarism

Find an Article by Title or Citation: put in bits of information from a citation and get the full text of the article

Need materials not on campus? Interlibrary Loan and Borrow Direct are services for getting materials outside of Harvard. Use the Request link in HOLLIS to get scans of articles and book chapters (aka the Scan & Deliver service).