Archives and Manuscripts

Many, but not all, archival and manuscript collections at Harvard have records in HOLLIS. A keyword search limited to manuscripts sometimes retrieves many Harvard theses and dissertations (which are labeled as being both book and manuscript format). These can be eliminated by limiting the results to archival collections using the Command Search in HOLLIS Classic. Use searches of the form: paleontology and wft=mx. More information on searching HOLLIS.

OASIS provides centralized access to a small but growing percentage of finding aids for archival and manuscript collections at Harvard. These finding aids are detailed descriptions of collections that contain a wide variety of materials, including letters, diaries, photographs, drawings, printed material, and objects. For each collection described in OASIS there is a summary description in HOLLIS. The new HOLLIS (not Classic) searches the full text of OASIS records, but searching the OASIS website offers more conrtrol. Remember that by no means all harvard archival/manuscript collections have OASIS entries; many inventories must be consulted on paper.

For an in depth search for manuscripts at Harvard, you should talk with the librarians at the likely Harvard repositories.

There are three major databases to search for archival and manuscript collections in the US: Archive Finder, ArchiveGrid (also includes many online inventories), WorldCat. These overlap to some extent, but each has material not in the others. Archive Finder allows limitation to Massachusetts repositories.

A research guide on finding manuscripts and archival material at Harvard, elsewhere in the US, and in Europe is available.

The books and manuscripts of John Dee, 1527-1608. 154 microfilm reels (Renaissance man, the reconstructed libraries of European scholars, 1450-1700, ser. 1)

Finding Publisher's Archives