HOLLIS is two databases in one.
It combines the extensive contents of our library catalog, the record every item owned by every Harvard Library with those of another, large and multidisciplinary database of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles.
Think of HOLLIS as a discovery platform -- a way to search panoramically across subjects, languages, time periods, and information formats.
There's sometimes an advantage to searching the library catalog separately, however:
In HOLLIS, you'll only get at articles by choosing the "Everything" search.
Creating search strings with some of the techniques below can help you get better results up front.
While the broad and panoramic approach to searching HOLLIS can be mind-opening, you can sometimes find yourself overwhelmed by either the numbers or types of results your search returns.
When that happens, try one of these easy tricks to bring your results into sharper focus:
1. Limit your Everything search results set just to the items listed in the LIBRARY CATALOG.
2. Limit your Everything search results set to items that are identified as PEER REVIEWED ARTICLES.
3. Think about limiting your results to publications from the last 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.
4. Try adding an additional keyword (or keywords) to indicate what you're after
When an article you find in HOLLIS is not owned at Harvard, or is available in a printed journal volume but not online, you can ask us to make a PDF for you through a service called Scan and Deliver.
We'll send you an email when it's ready for downloading, typically between 1 and 4 days after you place the request. Scan and Deliver is a free service to Harvard affiliates.
Scan and Deliver is also an option if you want up to two chapters of any Harvard-owned book digitized for your use.
What should you do if a book you find in HOLLIS and want to use is:
In every one of these cases, open the full item record and look for the BORROW DIRECT option toward the bottom of the screen (under the GET IT information and just before the call number). Follow the prompts from there.
We'll get a copy of the book for you, within 4 days, from another university library.
If the item is "in process" we'll expedite the process of getting the book ready for use and you'll be quickly notified by email.