To search HOLLIS for books held at Houghton, choose the Advanced Search option, select Library Catalog from the Search for: options, and limit the Search Scope to Houghton. There are numerous options to choose in drop-down menu for the search box. For example, you can search for Keywords anywhere or more specifically in Author, Title, or Subject fields. Note that you can also limit your search by date range and language. Once you have found the record of an item, subject links can lead you to other items in the same subject area. You can also click on the name of the author or the title, or scroll down to the Shelf View to see other pertinent records.

Once you find a record of an item you are interested in consulting, create a HOLLIS Special Request Account and follow these step by step instructions. After you sign in with your log-in and password, the system will create a prepopulated request for you.


Searching HOLLIS Records for thousands of single manuscript items, as well as collection-level (summary) descriptions of Houghton manuscripts and archival collections can be found in HOLLIS. For example, HOLLIS includes a 15th century manuscript history of Rome, as well as a summary description of the Henry James letters. To search for manuscripts in HOLLIS, choose the Advanced Search option, select Library Catalog from the Search for: options, and limit the Search Scope to Houghton (or Theatre Collection, or Theodore Roosevelt Collection as relevant). Choose Archives/Manuscripts from the Resource Type options. If you are searching for materials related to a specific person, searching for words Keywords anywhere rather than in Author/Creator is a good way to find material by and related to that person. 

HOLLIS for Archival Discovery
Houghton's finding aids— detailed listings of the contents of manuscript collections—appear in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. See the Introduction to HOLLIS for Archival Discovery for information on searching this system.

Some additional finding aids and catalogs are available only on-site. If you have trouble locating the materials you seek, please contact Houghton's staff.

Images and Photographs

If you are looking for photographs, a good place to start is with the Directory to Photographs at Harvard. Click on the Repositories A-Z tab and find the four entries for Houghton Library. You can read summary descriptions of the photographic holdings in and guides for searching the Harvard Theatre Collection, Modern Books and Manuscripts, Printing and Graphic Arts, and the Theodore Roosevelt Collection.

Searching HOLLIS
You can search for visual materials in HOLLIS in various ways, and to be as comprehensive as possible, you should do more than one search. If you were searching for visual materials related to the World Wars, for example, you would go to Advanced Search, choose Library Catalog from the Search for: options, and select Resource Type = Image. Enter Keywords anywhere = world war, and limit Search Scope to Houghton. This search may not return collections containing just a few photographs, so it would be useful to do another Advanced Search with the Resource Type as Archives / Manuscript, entering Keywords anywhere = world war AND photograph*. The asterisk will have the system search for all words that begin with “photograph”, such as “photographs”, “photography”, “photographic”).

Searching HOLLIS for Archival Discovery
Many manuscript collections contain photographs, which are described in the associated finding aid in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery. See the Introduction to HOLLIS for Archival Discovery for information on searching the system.

Searching HOLLIS Images
There is a Harvard catalog dedicated to visual holdings, HOLLIS Images, which describes a small number of photographs at Houghton as well as some designs and photographs in the Theatre Collection. If you are looking for items at Houghton, be sure to click on Advanced Search and select Image repository from the Any field dropdown menu and enter Houghton or "Harvard Theatre Collection" (including the quotation marks) in the corresponding search box.

Digital Images

Harvard Digital Collections allows you to search digital images of material from HOLLIS, HOLLIS Images, and HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

HOLLIS Images To search for digital objects within HOLLIS Images, limit your search to a specific collection by clicking on Advanced Search, selecting Image repository from the Any field dropdown menu, and entering the collection name (e.g. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, or Theodore Roosevelt Collection) in the corresponding search box. To limit results to only digital images, select Online from the Refine My Results page.

HOLLIS To limit your search results to digitized items, select Online from the Show only options after executing your search.

HOLLIS for Archival Discovery When searching, you can limit to digital materials using the Limit To menu. Within a finding aid for a collection you can select the Digital Material tab to see all material that has been digitized from the collection.