HOLLIS has two main parts. There’s the traditional Library Catalog of Harvard's books, journals, films, sound recordings, maps, and so on. Then there’s a huge additional database of articles, reviews, etc. which come from various sources outside Harvard. Many of these are available online through Harvard's subscriptions.

You can search the Library Catalog separately, or  -- especially if you want to see articles -- search for "Catalog and Articles" at once. These choices appear as soon as you start to type a search.

Tips for Using HOLLIS More Effectively

  • Sign in -- to get more search results, to place Requests, to save records in My Favorites, to see your search history, and to view or renew your checked-out items.
  • Use "Starts with/Browse" for more precise searching by subject, author, call number, etc.
  • When you find a source that interests you, look at the Subject Headings in the HOLLIS record. These can lead to other texts on the same subject, and you can use them in a Browse search.
  • Use the Advanced Search to refine your search in advance by language, date, type of resource, etc.
  • Look at the HOLLIS User Guide for more helpful tips on finding what you need.
  • If the HOLLIS record for a book doesn't tell you enough about its contents, try searching for the book in Google Books. Even if the entire text is not available, you can often get a substantial preview, and search by keyword to see if the book mentions a particular topic.

Combining Subjects in HOLLIS Advanced Search

When you're writing on a topic that combines major ideas like decolonization and migration -- involving specific places -- it can help to have your HOLLIS search reflect that multiplicity. The Advanced Search allows you to combine major terms that, together, define the sources you're looking for and reflect the complexity of your topic. For instance, in the example below. I've combined three Subjects that I want my sources to cover. You can also combine a subject with keywords or title words.

HOLLIS Search Facets

Search limits such as these appear on the right-hand side of the HOLLIS screen when you do a search. Most databases provide similar ways to refine a search.