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Planning a Visit to Schlesinger Library

We look forward to seeing you! The Schlesinger Library is open to the public and welcomes all visitors. The Schlesinger Library is a non-circulating, special collection within the Harvard Library.

Schlesinger Library Closure Notice

In order to complete the final phase of our renovation project moving staff and collections back to our building, the Schlesinger Library will be closed from August 10, 2019 through September 11, 2019.  Library collections and services will be unavailable during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience but look forward to welcoming you in our newly renovated building! The Library will reopen on Thursday, September 12 at 9:00AM when we will return to our regular schedule, Monday–Saturday, 9:00AM–5:00PM.

You are welcome to contact us while we are closed, but please be aware that response times will be affected by the move. Library collections will be inaccessible until September 12, so we regret that we cannot offer scanning services or answer research queries that require access to the collections. Photo requests will be limited to images already digitized in HOLLIS Images

Please note that digitized collections will continue to be available for research. More information can be found in our Digitized Collections research guide. Digitized materials from the library’s holdings can also be found through use of the HOLLIS catalog, HOLLIS Images, and HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

Thank you for your patience!

The Essentials

1. Contact us in advance of your visit


  • Use our Ask a Schlesinger Librarian form to request an appointment and access to collections
  • We can recommend additional sources and provide in-depth research help
  • Our collections are stored offsite and some may have access restrictions
  • See this research guide for more detailed information about placing requests


2. Document Cameras available in Reading Room 

  • Each table is equipped with document cameras. Learn more and download the software.
  • Prefer to use your own camera? No problem, just turn off your flash and leave your camera case and tripod behind.

3. What to bring

  • A form of photo identification. You will present your identification at the reception desk and complete a brief registration form. 
  • Pencils, digital cameras, laptops, and flash drives are welcome in the Reading Room. We have extras of all of these items to lend. 
  • Leave notebooks, folders, jackets, wallets, computer and camera cases, and bags in our lockers. We provide lined loose-leaf paper.