Visiting Guidelines

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.


Summer Hours (May 20 - August 16, 2024): Monday - Thursday, 10:30 AM to 4:00 PM, appointments accepted. 

For holidays and other closures, please expand “Show Detailed Hours” on the Frances Loeb Library’s hours page

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

All researchers are required to have a HOLLIS Special Request account. Harvard affiliates should sign in using their HarvardKey. First-time users will be asked to create an account.   

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.

Browsing Collections

Both the Le Corbusier Research Collection and GSD Materials Collection are available for browsing in-person.  Researchers need a HOLLIS Special Request account and an appointment.  

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 welcome to photograph most materials. Some collections may be subject to donor stipulations that limit or prohibit photography. Researchers are asked not to take pictures of the Reading Room itself, other patrons, or library staff. 
  • The library does not permit the use of pens, tripods, scanners, camera flashes, special lighting, or any other equipment that rests directly on collection material or may pose a risk of damage.
  • 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. 

Other Resources

Contact Us

If you have questions about a collection or if you want to inquire about obtaining reproductions of items or other services, please contact us through Ask a Design Librarian.