Connect Your Browser to Harvard Library Access (requires HarvardKey)
- The Harvard Library Bookmark allows you to reload webpages via your HarvardKey. This will get you past the paywall for about 80% of the material we license.
- Connecting Google Scholar to your library access adds "Try Harvard Library" links to your search results: these will take you to the best bet for HarvardKey access.
- If you have any trouble getting access to articles, check HOLLIS, the library's main search tool, or ask us for help. (See "How to Use Your Harvard Key to Get Online Articles for Free" for more details.)
- Library resources can be finicky: it's a good idea to have at least two browsers installed (e.g. Firefox and Chrome), and familiarize yourself with the steps for clearing your cache and cookies.
- Sign up to receive notifications (an email every 2-4 weeks) about new or updated library services.
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
- The library's Office for Scholarly Communication provides this method for you to opt-in to the rights that Harvard faculty have to make their publications openly accessible and easy to find via DASH as well as posting to their personal websites.