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Digital Collections at Schlesinger Library

Research Tips

Seeking more digital materials? Below are specific tips for finding digitized materials using Harvard Library's online search tools and other sources: HOLLIS, HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, HOLLIS Images, Full Text Search tool, and the Schlesinger Library's Flickr Commons.

You are also welcome to:

Ask a Schlesinger Librarian about your research.

  • We can recommend additional sources and provide in-depth research help. 

Contact us in advance of your visit.

  • Many of our collections are stored offsite and/or might have access restrictions. 


HOLLIS is the primary search tool for finding materials held at Harvard's many libraries, archives, and special collections. Materials include books, periodicals, manuscript and archival collections, photographs and other works of art, audiovisual materials, music, and much more. You can start with a basic search in HOLLIS or you can use the advanced search option.

After searching a particular keyword or topic in the search box, you can filter your results to only items that are available online by using the Show Only section of the Refine My Results box. As an example, please see this results list for the keyword "Suffrage" and limited to online items.

If some or all of an item has been digitized, the HOLLIS catalog record will include an Online Access link. That link will take you out of HOLLIS and into a database, to Harvard's digital viewer (Mirador), GoogleBooks, Hathi Trust, or another trusted source. That link will also exist in the Get It section and may display as Networked Resource (NET).

Please visit the HOLLIS User Guide for additional tips and tricks or contact us with any questions.

HOLLIS for Archival Discovery

HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, a companion to HOLLIS, is the exploration platform for online finding aids and collection guides and is specifically designed to search manuscript collections and archival materials. These materials include primary sources in a variety of formats such as letters, diaries, drafts of books, meeting minutes, architectural plans, photographs, film and video, three-dimensional objects, and digital content.

Please note: Not all archival and manuscript collections at Harvard have a finding aid, and are therefore not searchable in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. To find other primary source materials please use HOLLIS.

To find digitized materials in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, use the main search box where you can select Limit Digital Materials in the Limit menu. As an example, here are search results for the keyword "suffrage" and limited to digital materials.

Digital materials can also be found within an individual finding aid by viewing two of the tabs in the finding aids: Collection Inventory, and Digital Materials. If digitized content exists, a number appears after the phrase Digital Materials. Digitized materials will be tagged Digital in both the Collection Inventory and in the Digital Materials displays. The Pauli Murray collection finding aid is a good example.

Additional advice on using this tool can be found in the HOLLIS for Archival Discovery Help Guide or by contacting us with your questions.



HOLLIS Images allows you to search digitized photographs, art works, and other visual materials across Harvard's collections. Use the basic or advanced search and limit results by collection, date, or format.

To view all of the digitized images from a specific collection, search on the collection name in quotes or on the collection call number. For example, search “Pauli Murray Papers” or search  MC412 (this is the call number without a space between "MC" and "412").  To view images from a specific folder in a finding aid search add a hyphen and the folder number. For example, search on MC412-17 to view photos from folder 17 in the finding aid.

See the HOLLIS Images search tips for more strategies or contact us for help.


Harvard Full Text Search

The Harvard Full Text Search in the Mirador Viewer allows you to search across all digitized (typescript) texts from Harvard collections including Radcliffe College publications such as yearbooks, courses of instruction, and alumnae periodicals. This is a good search tool for researching a wide variety of topics related to Radcliffe College. Use quotes to search on a phrase such as Radcliffe "banjo club".

Contact us for more help with your research.

Schlesinger Library images in Flickr Commons

Browse our Flickr Commons photostream or Flickr collections to view public domain images from our collections. Hi-res image files can be downloaded directly from Flickr and freely reused.

Contact us for additional help finding digitized images.