Service Note

The Frances Loeb Library Special Collections Reading Room will open for the fall semester on September 14th.

Due to local guidelines regarding COVID-19, the Frances Loeb Library Special Collections Reading Room will be closed to visiting researchers during the Fall 2021 Semester. Only Graduate School of Design faculty, staff, students and Harvard ID holders will be able to make appointments to access collection materials in the reading room. 

COVID-19: Guidance for the Harvard Graduate School of Design Community


 

Step 1: Register with HOLLIS Special Request

All first-time visitors to the Reading Room must create an account through HOLLIS Special Request. Harvard affiliates should sign in using their HarvardKey. 


 

Step 2: Request Special Collections Materials

In order to view items from the Frances Loeb Library's Special Collections, researchers must request the material in advance of their anticipated visit. (See below for expected turnaround time for requests for each special collection.) Before requesting items, review and follow the instructions for each collection. Researchers should submit any questions or requests for consultation to Ask a Design Librarian.

Archival Collections

All requests to view items from the library's archival collections should be submitted ahead of your visit.  If the collection has an online finding aid, requests can be submitted directly by way of HOLLIS Special Request through HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.  If the collection does not have an online finding aid, find the collection in HOLLIS and submit requests through HOLLIS Special Request.  Please be as specific as possible when requesting material as this will expediate the retrieval process. 

There is a 3-business-day turnaround time on submitted requests.

  • Library Guide: Archival Collections at GSD
    A complete list of all of our archival collections with links directly to their catalog records in HOLLIS. The guide also includes information on archival research and on architecture, landscape and urban design archival collections beyond Harvard University.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Getting started with HOLLIS Special Request  Quick guide on setting up and managing a HOLLIS Special Request account.

Le Corbusier Research Collection

The collection is open for browsing during scheduled appointments.  Requests for specific items are not required, but may be submitted in advance by finding the item in HOLLIS and submitting a request through HOLLIS Special Request.  

There is a 1-business-day turnaround time on submitted requests.  Browsing appointments must be done at least 1-hour in advance.

Materials Collection

The collection is open for browsing during scheduled appointments.  Requests for specific material samples are not required.  Registered researchers may borrow samples for 1 week.  

Browsing appointments must be done at least 1-hour in advance.

Rare Book Collection

Requests are submitted in advance by finding the item in HOLLIS and submitting a request through HOLLIS Special Request. Items can be consulted in the reading room by appointment only. 

Please note that GSD Theses are part of the Rare Book Collection. Theses from 2014 onwards are available directly online from HOLLIS. For pre-2014 theses, search in HOLLIS and submit a request through HOLLIS Special Request.

There is a 1-business-day turnaround time on submitted requests.

Visual Collections

Requests for Visual Collections can be submitted to Ask a Design Librarian.   Please provide detailed information about the items of interest by using permalinks and record details when available. 

There is a 3-business-day turnaround time on submitted requests.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment

Once requested items are ready for the researcher to view in the reading room, a librarian will contact the researcher with information to schedule an appointment to view the items.  Access to the reading room for the Fall 2021 semester is by appointment only.  Appointments are 30-60 minutes each.  Researchers are limited to 1 hour/day and 3 hours/week to view collections in the reading room.