Manuscript Libraries and Archives at Harvard

The primary repository for Harvard's rare books and manuscripts is the Houghton Library. Houghton's cataloged manuscript collections are fully listed in HOLLIS, with links to their finding aids. You can also search the finding aids directly through HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

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.

The Houghton Library has created websites for its Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and Digital Papyri.