Welcome to Harvard's Libraries. Our extensive collections, print and electronic, await you. This research guide is a starting point for your exploration.
Please feel free to email with questions. We can make an appointment for you to come in, and we can talk at length about your project.
Getting What You Need
How can you get your hands/eyes on material?
HOLLIS- the center of the Library ecosystem. This is often be the best first step to see if we have something. Many items are readily available through HOLLIS by clicking on "Online Access" or opening the listing and scrolling down to the "Get it" section. Check the HOLLIS section of this guide.
Browser Plugins for Library Access- Harvard Bookmark and Lean Library plugins can help you find out if we have access to books and articles online-- so you don't always have to go to HOLLIS when you want to know if we have a certain item.
Off-Site Storage. Hit Request Pick Up in the Get It section of the HOLLIS Record. After your Harvard Key there is a pull down menu allowing you to choose delivery location. Sometimes there is a single delivery option. Submit your request. You will receive an email usually next business day (not weekends or holidays) morning. Item is usually ready for pick-up in mid-afternoon. Sometimes Offsite storage material is in-library use only. For Widener, this is the Widener 1st floor room formerly the Periodical Room and the temporary location for Houghton (directly across the lobby from the Circulation Room). Most Offsite storage material is available for scanning via Scan & Deliver (see below).
Scan & Deliver/Interlibrary Loan- request pdfs of articles and book chapters from HOLLIS listings when you cannot get online access.
- Limit: 2 chapters from a book or 2 articles from a journal.
Interlibrary Loan request materials from other libraries (log in on the ILL page)
- Some non-Harvard special collections may be willing and able to scan material (usually for a fee). Our Interlibrary Loan department will place the request and help with the cost (there is a cap).
- Contact the other repository to see if they're able to scan what you need. Get a price estimate for the material and the exact details (like Box 77 folder 4- this is often available in Finding Aids)
- Log in to ILL. On the left side it says "Make a Request." Open that and choose "Request Article."
- Fill in what you can (put in N/A if the field is inapplicable) with the price and other information in the Comments box.
- This will get the process going and ILL will get back to you if they need more information or to discuss the price.
BorrowDirect - the fastest way to get books, music scores, some DVD and video, that we don't have in the library.
Purchase Request Specify if you want print or online
Access to Harvard Special Collection Materials
- Look for "Request to Scan or Visit" in HOLLIS (to place a scanning request) or contact the repository directly. Most of our larger archival collections are able to provide scans.
Graduate students and visiting scholars are eligible to have a carrel in the Widener stacks: start the process with the carrel request form. (If you do this right at the start of the semester, it may take a few weeks before you receive confirmation.) Materials from the Widener stacks, including non-circulating materials like bound periodicals, can be checked out to your carrel.
Help with Digital Projects
The Digital Scholarship Support Group offers faculty, students, and staff interested in incorporating digital methods into their teaching and research a single point of entry to the many resources available at Harvard.
Fred Burchsted, Research Librarian in Services for Academic Programs, Widener Library, and Library Liaison to the Departments of History and the History of Science, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-495-4093.
Susan Gilroy, Research Librarian in Services for Academic Programs, Widener Library, and Library Liaison to the Departments of Social Policy and Social Studies, email@example.com, 617-496-5403.
Kathleen Sheehan, Research Librarian in Services for Academic Programs, Widener Library, and Library Liaison to the Departments of Government and Sociology, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-384-8089.
Diane Sredl, Data Reference Librarian, Lamont Library, email@example.com, 617-496-6936.
Svetlana Rukhelman, Davis Center Librarian firstname.lastname@example.org
Hugh Truslow. Slavic language government information and data. email@example.com
Digital Scholarship Support Group
The Digital Scholarship Support Group offers faculty, students, and staff interested in incorporating digital methods into their teaching and research a single point of entry to the many resources available at Harvard. The schedule for summer workshops in data visualization is available.
More guides are available via the Harvard Library Research Guides site. See especially Baker Business, Kennedy School, and Law School guides. Also link to guides by Subject.
- Country Information Sources
- Economics Research
- Film Research at Harvard
- Finding Articles in General and Popular Periodicals (North America and Western Europe)
- Finding Book Reviews
- Finding Dissertations and Theses
- Germanic Research Web: Research Guide for Germanic Studies
- Government: A Guide to Research Resources
- Government Documents guides
- Guide to Newspapers and Newspaper Indexes
- Guide to Research in History of Art & Architecture
- Labor Collections at Harvard
- Library Research Guide for American Studies
- Library Research Guide for Archives and Manuscripts
- Library Research Guide for British Colonial and Foreign Relations Sources
- Library Research Guide for History
- Library Research Guide for the History of Science
- Library Research Guide for Foreign Relations
- Library Research Guide for English 259/History 2321: Methods in Book History.
- News & Media Studies
- Slavic and Eurasian Studies at Harvard (See Research Contacts at bottom of left hand column)
- Sociology: An Introduction to Library Resources
- Statistics and Data Resources guides
- Check Harvard Library Bookmark This browser extension recognizes citations and tries to find them in Harvard Library holdings.
- Lean Library Similar to Check Harvard Library Bookmark, though they function a little differently. Experiment to see if what works for you.
- Browzine This app enables easy reading and browsing of journals and lets you set alerts. (It doesn't include every subscription we have; so far, nothing does that).
- Google Scholar Settings Search for "Harvard University - Try Harvard Library" to see the "Try Harvard Library" button within Google Scholar search results.
*If the above tools don't find the full text, it's worth searching in HOLLIS, (by journal title if article title doesn't work).
- Statistics and Data-Harvard and Harvard Library have many data management tools, groups and options. Check out our Data Librarian's guide to statisicts and data (not just for beginners), which leads to other resources. We also have some resources listed on the Statistics/Data page of this guide. There are other HL resources for acquiring, managing and using data. If you don't see what you need, Ask us!
- Citation and Research Management Tools see the Citing Sources and Organizing Research page in this guide