Request Rare Book Collection Items

Researchers can request items from the Rare Book Collection at GSD, directly through HOLLIS, Harvard Library's catalog, and/or HOLLIS Special Request. Once requested, items are placed on the Special Collections Reading Room hold shelf for 1 week. 

Fall 2021, Special Collections Reading Room: appointment needed. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 am to 2:00 pm.

To Request Rare Book Collection items:

  • Create an account in HOLLIS Special Request.
  • Make requests directly through HOLLIS, or through the HOLLIS Special Request form to Request Reading Room time. Please include the item title, author, and call number. Remember to include Loeb Design Library and expected visit date with your request. 
  • Go to your HOLLIS Special Request account to check the status of your request. You will NOT receive an automated email indicating that the item is ready for you to consult. When the item is in the Special Collections Reading Room your account will indicate "Item Available in Reading Room".
  • Alternatively, get in touch with us through Ask a Design Librarian.


Plan your visit


  • Items from the Rare Book Collection are requested ahead of your visit to the Special Collections Reading Room.
  • During your visit you may use personal cell phones and/or digital cameras for your personal research and reference purposes. We also have an overhead scanner for which you will need a thumb drive.
  • We can only provide permissions to publish for materials we hold the copyright to. For scans for publication purposes we will refer you to Harvard Library imaging services for high quality scans.
  • Ask a Design Librarian or visit Special Collections at GSD, we will help you navigate the collections.