The updated version of this guide has moved here.




In planning your courses, please know that our librarians, curators, and archivists are on hand to ensure Harvard’s teaching and learning experience continues to be exceptional. I encourage you to reach out to your librarian to talk about what you need, whether that’s course materials, tutorials or other library services. Even if it seems that some things are out of reach, there may be interesting virtual possibilities. - Martha Whitehead

General help

  • Expert assistance from the library’s liaison to your department: look under “FAS Department” on the Library Liaisons page. Your liaison is your best first contact for almost any inquiry.

  • Get an immediate response via chat or by email ask.library.harvard.edu 

  • For more information on the library’s plans for resuming some services, see our Smart Restart draft. We will update this as plans evolve. As we test safe workflows for staff, we will focus on collections in Lamont, Widener, and Harvard Depository. We hope to expand to other locations and enable scans of special collections soon. You are welcome to submit requests before services are running so that we can create a queue and understand needs.

  • Ongoing workshops for faculty are advertised via emails from OUE and posted on the library's events calendar.


Course materials


Support for your students

  • Integrate your librarian into your course platforms so they can respond directly to students. For example, you can identify them as the Course Librarian on your Canvas site or invite a librarian to join your course Slack channel.

    • NOTE: Adding an explicit link (e.g. to ask.library.harvard.edu) on your syllabus to connect with the library or integrating a Course Librarian on Canvas improves the research experience and drives engagement for remote students.

  • Librarians are available to meet with students, help you draft guidance for them, and much more. Our services are flexible and tailored to your needs.


Specialized support

  • Special Collections & Archives

    • Librarians, curators, and archivists are available remotely to assist with planning to teach with special collections and archives while distancing. Please use our Class Request Tool to connect with specific collections and discuss options for your class.

    • Houghton Library is providing free, on-demand digitization for classes, along with robust support for teaching with rare books, archives, and other special collections material. We can help you design ways for your students to discover relevant sources, understand material culture, analyze primary sources, and create & curate from our collections. Contact Kristine Greive, Head of Teaching and Learning, for more information.

  • Multimedia, Visualization, GIS, & Digital Scholarship

    • The Virtual Media Lab provides tutorials and custom workshops to support you and your students with podcasting, video editing, Photoshop, Illustrator, and more. You and your students can join the Lab and be kept up to date on their programming.

    • The library provides one-on-one data visualization support for Harvard faculty who would like to incorporate visualization in course assignments or teaching. In-class workshops on specific visualization tools are available. 

    • 3D scanning and consultation about how to incorporate 3D content into your teaching can help bring your course material to life. 

    • The Harvard Map Collection provides assistance finding the spatial within your subject and from there developing ways to incorporate spatial reasoning into teaching or course assignments.  We provide demonstrations to inspire and custom workshops to teach.  We can highlight the potential of spatial tools especially when coupled with traditional paper materials. Help can be found at maps@harvard.edu.

    • Digital Scholarship is rarely a solo sport. Contact the Digital Scholarship Support Group to ask questions and find resources.