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HOLLIS User Guide

HOLLIS is the library's main search interface. It includes the Harvard library catalog as well as a huge (and more heterogeneous) collection of citations for a variety of materials, including articles and book chapters.

Get It

Options for accessing materials through the library.

Reminder: HOLLIS does not contain everything Harvard owns, and Harvard doesn’t own everything in HOLLIS, but we can get you almost anything. There are direct links to Interlibrary Loan and Borrow Direct from the hollis.harvard.edu home page.

Does Harvard have a copy?

If something is in the Library Catalog, Harvard has a copy. Look for "Get It" to see your access options.

In "Everything," you cannot always see whether Harvard has a copy. If you don’t see availability information, click "How to Get It" to start the process of locating a copy.

"View Online"

If you see View Online, it means there is likely an electronic copy available.

View Online does its best to connect many very different library systems. Often, it takes you right to the full-text. Sometimes, it will take you somewhere unexpected. If you end up somewhere that looks like a database and has a search box, try searching there for the title of the item. If in doubt, Ask a Librarian for help tracking down the source.

"How to Get It"

If you see "How to Get It," it means there may be a copy available, but HOLLIS hasn't automatically connected to it. Select "How to Get It" to search our online resources. If HOLLIS is unable to find an online version, it will display other options, often including print holdings.

If you’re starting from an article or chapter title, "How to Get It" can often take you from the title in “Everything” to the location information in the relevant Library Catalog listing for the book or journal. It uses information such as an ISBN or ISSN to connect different library systems to each other.

This doesn't always work: if "How to Get It" fails, you can often get what you want by examining the citation yourself. For example, if you're looking for an article or book chapter, try searching HOLLIS for the journal or book title. (To find the title to search for in HOLLIS, look for "is part of" in the original record.)

"Available" or "Currently unavailable"

If you see "Available" or "Currently unavailable," it means the library owns at least one physical copy. Click on the library name to see more information.

Click on "hours & info" to learn more about a particular library's policies. An important distinction is between special collections, which house archives, manuscripts, rare books, etc., and where items are brought to you in a reading room, and circulating collections, where you may browse the shelves (stacks) and most items can be borrowed and taken out of the library. Many special collections allow you to request items through HOLLIS via a "View in Library" link.

Note: if the library holds many volumes, you may need to select "show more items" to see the full list.

If you are going to the shelf

The call number is the most important piece of information. Look for an alphanumeric code following the library name. You can find call number location charts, maps, and friendly staff available to help in each library.

Pro tip: you can text yourself a call number. Look for this option in the "Send to" menu.

If you are requesting to pick up or chapter/article .pdf

Make sure you are signed in so your options will display.

  • To request the entire book or volume, look for: "Request Pick Up" (if a copy is showing as available, usually 1-4 business days), "Borrow Direct" and/or "Interlibrary Loan."
  • To request a .pdf of an individual chapter or article, look for "Scan & Deliver."

Whichever option you choose, you will be notified via email when the item has arrived for you to pick up or download.