The Frances Loeb Library Special Collections Reading Room is open. Researchers interested in viewing items from the rare book, archival, or visual collections must request materials in advance of an anticipated visit. After a request is received and processed, a librarian will contact the researcher with information on how to schedule an appointment. Please see the information below for instructions on setting up a reading room account (required for all visitors), how to place requests, and scheduling appointments for our browsing collections.
Availability of Materials
Many of our collections are stored off-site. Items may take 1-3 business days to process before being available for your visit.
HOLLIS Special Request
Discover & Request Collections
Researchers may have up to 30 simultaneous active requests in HOLLIS Special Request (HSR) across all Harvard repositories. Active requests are listed in your HSR account with item status of "request submitted." Any additional requests beyond 30 have item status "awaiting user review." If you have more than 30 outstanding requests in HSR, you can prioritize them in the "edit/submit" screen by either saving them for later or submitting them.
When You Arrive
At Special Collections, reading room users are required to check in upon arrival and show one form of photo identification.
- Researchers are welcome to bring pencils, laptops, tablets, phones, digital cameras, and other materials to assist in their research. We ask that all personal devices be in silent mode.
- Researchers are asked to store items not permitted in the reading room, such as food and drink, bags, outerwear, and writing instruments other than pencils.
Handling guidelines must be conscientiously followed in order to preserve library material for future use. Library staff are always available to provide guidance.
Frances Loeb Library Special Collections Guides
Library Guide: HOLLIS Special Request
Overview on how to set up and manage your HOLLIS Special Request account.
Library Guide: HOLLIS for Archival Discovery
Overview of HOLLIS for Archival Discovery and instructions on how to browse repositories and request materials to view in the reading room. All researchers should review this guide for the Fall Semester for updates on this process.