How can I tell if Harvard owns a particular manuscript?

The primary repository for Harvard's rare books and manuscripts is the Houghton Library. Houghton's cataloged manuscript collections are now listed in the HOLLIS+ Catalog, with the finding aids (detailed descriptions of their contents) available in OASIS, Harvard’s finding aids database, and ArchiveGrid. Manuscript catalogs, selected readings, archival resources, and more can be found in the Manuscripts & Archives section of Inter Libros.

Manuscripts in many Harvard libraries are stored off-site. Patrons are encouraged to make an appointment in advance with a curator in order to view the collections. In order to preserve collections, access to original manuscripts is often restricted. Researchers are first required to consult the microfilm or digitized version of the manuscript (when available), and then, if their research requires viewing the original manuscript, to request permission from the curator. For specific library policies related to access and use of manuscripts, please consult the individual repository websites.