Archival Collections

A page from a typescript of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" with manuscript editing marksArchival collections at Harvard include both personal papers and organizational records. These collections may include correspondence, financial records, journals, personal and documentary photographs, and drafts of creative works like playscripts, scores, dance notations, or designs. Archival collections might also include ephemera, such as playbills or newspaper clippings. In fact, all of the kinds of sources described on this page can be a part of an archival collection, as what defines the collection is the collector rather than the kind of material it is.

Searching for Archival Material

Archival material at Harvard is sometimes described solely in the library catalog, HOLLIS. But collections often also have a more detailed finding aid in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, a companion system to HOLLIS.

To search for material in HOLLIS, navigate to the Advanced Search page, select Library Catalog from the Search For: options, and  Archives/Manuscripts from the Resource Type menu:

screenshot of a HOLLIS search for archival material

For information on searching finding aids using HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, see this guide.