Get Started

Sign up for Harvard Library Updates

  • Sign up to receive our emails (every 2-4 weeks) with updates on newly reopened library services and other pandemic-related adjustments and accommodations.
  • The yellow banner alert at the top of links to the latest information on our services.

Pick a Research Management tool

  • Software that grabs citations for you and helps you organize all of your research, notes, and .pdfs in one easily accessible place on your computer or in the cloud. The library offers training and support for several tools. For the humanities and social sciences we recommend Zotero, but you can export most citation information from one tool to another, so there’s no need to overthink the decision at this point.

Explore some library homepages

  • There are over 70 Harvard libraries. Your first weeks at Harvard are a great time to explore broadly and get ideas about collections and materials you can make creative use of in your research. As you explore the different Harvard libraries on, keep an eye out for links that say “full website.” A library’s own homepage offers the kind of overview description and special highlights that can be hard to glean from the catalog or collection guides. You can also explore individual collections featured on, or search across already-digitized materials via Harvard Digital Collections.

Find your touchstone databases

  • Harvard licenses thousands of databases and e-resources. Now is the time to explore and get a sense of what might be out there: the "Find a Database" section of this guide tells you how. Once you have your HarvardKey and can access the databases themselves, you can work your way up the learning curve for specific systems. Then when crunch time hits, you’ll be able to navigate quickly and expertly to what you need.

Connect Your Browser to Harvard Library Access (requires HarvardKey)

Make a BrowZine account (requires HarvardKey)

  • BrowZine is a great way to keep up with the latest research in your field. Make an account, add journals to your bookshelf, and browse recent issues from your phone (with the app) or computer. Note: HOLLIS sometimes displays a "Latest Issues" link to BrowZine for individual journals.

Sign your individual open-access license