This page outlines some of the many ways Harvard continues to support your learning after you graduate and describes some of the many free resources you might want to make use of.
ALL THINGS ALUMNI/AE
Find a general list of services and resources for alums on the Harvard Alumni Association's Alumni Services and Resources page.
To see what Harvard Alumni can offer you, get in touch with their Help Desk at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-496-0559 or 800-823-2478 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
KEEP YOUR ID CARD & YOUR HARVARD KEY!
All of the Harvard-specific options outlined below can work on the id card you currently have. In fact, you can go to the Privileges office before you graduate to ensure a smooth transition from student to alumni status on the same card.
Your Havard Key stays with you for life, and is what you will use to access the library's online resources for alums. You will probably need to update the email you use for login.
On Harvard's Campus
DATABASES AND ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
All the electronic resources licensed for FAS are available on-site in Harvard's libraries via library computers (but not via personal laptops or devices) for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study.
BUILDING ACCESS AND BORROWING PRIVILEGES
Harvard Alumni/ae are eligible to receive free-of-charge Stacks Access (from the Widener Library Privileges Office), valid at FAS libraries for a 12-month period from the date of issue. For borrowing privileges, you may purchase Special Borrowers' privileges.
And if you'd like to bring family / friends into the FAS libraries after Commencement, both these options let grads bring up to 4 guests at a time into the college libraries.
Contact the Library Privileges Office at 617-495-4166 or email@example.com or visit them on the 1st floor of Widener during business hours.
A Note on HOLLIS
You are welcome to continue to use HOLLIS from afar, but please note: HOLLIS's "View Online" links will not work for alumni. Alumni access to licensed content is available ONLY through the links in the list of Electronic Resources under Using Harvard Library as an Alum.
If you have any items or searches saved ("pinned") in My Favorites, you will still be able to access those when you sign in to HOLLIS with your Harvard Key.
Make WorldCat your new go-to: it's a mega-catalog of library holdings across the U.S. and in some foreign libraries. If you're looking for something specific, WorldCat is the easiest way to find out which libraries near you hold a copy.
Anywhere in the World
Harvard offers special database access for alumni. How to Use Harvard Library as an Alum has all of the details. Look for:
- Electronic Resources (list with brief descriptions of what you have access to, including many free resources)
- Known Issues under Get Help
OPEN ACCESS ARTICLES & MORE
Even if you're seeing a paywall on one site, the material may be available for free somewhere else. Many scholars publish their academic research in "open access" formats that make them accessible to all. The two most common methods are by making the material open access via the publisher, or by self-archiving it in a repository, whether institutional (such as Harvard's DASH) or subject-based (such as arXiv). Two popular tools for locating an OA version:
PUBLIC LIBRARIES - your local branch may offer:
- Database access (e.g. the BPL's Online Resources)
- State-wide database access (e.g. TexShare)
- Kindle books, streaming video, and other electronic loans (e.g. ebooks via NYPL)
- Interlibrary Loan (e.g. CPL Interlibrary Loan)
- Tickets and passes for cultural attractions (e.g. San Francisco Public Library's passes)
- Tools, toys, and other object collections (e.g. Berkeley Tool Library)
- Community events, classes, and much more...
Note: the examples above are from American libraries. While services may differ, you can find public libraries and other public institutions in any country.
STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
- Buildings open to the public always or during defined hours (e.g. University of Florida's General Public Policies)
- On-site database access (e.g. University of Indiana's Library Guest Account)
- Some borrowing privileges (e.g. Portland State University's Passport Program)
NATIONAL LIBRARIES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: OPEN TO ALL
Have a question not answered here?
This guide extensively incorporates information and advice from Steve Beardsley (Associate Director of Access Services), and is adapted from the work of Cheryl LaGuardia (retired Harvard research librarian).