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Request a carrel (requires HarvardKey)

  • Graduate students are eligible to have a carrel in the Widener stacks: start the process with the carrel request form. (If you do this right at the start of the semester, it may take a few weeks before you receive confirmation.) Materials from the Widener stacks, including non-circulating materials like bound periodicals, can be checked out to your carrel. You might also want to invest in some fingerless gloves: the stacks can be a bit chilly!

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 library.harvard.edu, 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 library.harvard.edu, 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.

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.

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.

Sign your individual open-access license