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Connect Your Browser to Harvard Library Access (requires HarvardKey)

Get free articles

  • Harvard Library Bookmark - use the bookmark to reload a webpage via HarvardKey. This will get you past the paywall for about 80% of the material we license.
  • Connect your Google Scholar to Harvard Library to get "Try Harvard Library" links in your search results.
  • LibKey Nomad - this browser plugin provides buttons that link you directly to library access from any web page. Download the plugin from Third Iron and select Harvard University. (If you don’t find an option to select Harvard, try these workarounds.) Note: Lean Library is another plugin available to you. From personal experience, we prefer LibKey Nomad.

Troubleshoot your access

If the tools above fail, don't give up!

Stay Informed

  • Library Updates (an email every few months) keeps you informed about new or updated library services. 
  • Unabridged Events (an email every month or two) is the email list for workshops from our library intensive for graduate students.

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, 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.

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. 

Learn to use Zotero

  • Take a Zotero class. Zotero is a free software program 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. 

Sign your individual open-access license

Learn about Digital Scholarship