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HLS Library Services for Off-Campus Students

One stop shop for information during COVID-19



Harvard Library locations in Cambridge are closed until further notice. All Library services have moved online.

This guide will help you find and use library resources while you are learning away from the Harvard Law School campus.

The COVID-19 situation is stressful, but the HLS Library is here for you. Use this guide as a single point to find information about library services, and how to get the research and course materials you need.

 Current information about Harvard Library Access

Course Materials


Looking for your course readings? 

Step 1

If your Casebook is published by West or Wolters Kluwer (check the attached lists if you aren't sure), use the instructions below to register for online access.

Step 2

Check your course Canvas modules for scanned course readings 

Step 3

Search HOLLIS for ebooks and online articles

Step 4

If your readings aren't available,  please email

West Academic Publishing Access

Please note that West Academic Publishing is allowing temporary access only for titles that are required for your class and not currently available to you.

West Academic Publishing has generously granted Harvard Law School access to their e-books (West Academic, Foundation Press, etc.) to support our remote educational needs. West is supporting law schools across the country, so please only request books if you do not have access to the print. 

If you do not have access to your print casebook and need electronic access for required reading titles in your class, please first set up your own account here: Then call West Academic Publishing's support line (877) 888-1330, Ext. #4. Their customer service representatives will complete the process to allow remote access for any of your course-required e-books that are no longer available to you. Students may also contact the publisher via e-mail a if they are unable to reach a representative by phone. 

They have additionally, offered to provide temporary trial access to their Online Study Aid library which may be accessed here. On this platform you will find access to their Nutshell series; Hornbooks; audio lectures; and more.

If you experience any issues or do not find a title that is supposed to be on course reserve for your class, please contact Research Services.

Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer has graciously opened their casebook platform to students and faculty for the spring semester.

Please follow the instructions below.  
Please note that at this time, student downloads from the VitalsSource platform are limited to 7 titles, regardless of publisher, and trial access will expire on Monday, May 25th, 2020.  Once you borrow a title it cannot be returned during the spring semester, so please be careful that you select the titles you need.  Supplements count as a separate title and might not appear linked with the casebook.  
1.       To get started, students should visit and log-in or create a Bookshelf account with their institution-provided email address. (Read instructions on creating a Bookshelf account for both students and instructors if you need help registering.) 
2.       Once students create an account with an institution-provided email address, they should log in and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen. This tab provides access to the freely available e-textbooks. 

For a complete list of VitalSource frequently asked questions regarding access to the VitalSource Helps Program, please visit their site to learn more.

You may submit support requests via email, call/text or live chat.
Phone number to call or text: 1-855-200-4146.
The library also subscribes to selected titles in WK Online Study Aid Library.  (See Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library (WKOSAL) Essentials for a video showing how to register for and use the platform.)

If you experience any issues or do not find a title that is supposed to be on course reserve for your class, please contact Research Services.


The library also already subscribes to some of the publisher’s legal study aids.


 RedShelf is a platform that hosts selected reserve titles.

Students log into RedShelf using their school email address. If they do not have a RedShelf account, they can register for one.
Students can then add 7 no-cost titles from participating publishers to their My Shelf

Bluebook Access

If you do not have physical access to the Bluebook, HSLS will provide you with a key for the online version.  Please contact Research Services if you require a key.

Stata Access

Due to the circumstances created by the coronavirus outbreak, Stata is providing HLS students with a temporary license that can be installed on your personal machines. The license will expire on June 1, 2020. Please contact if you need access to Stata for your academic work.

Our Hours

Today's Hours

Library Services for Off-Campus Users

Remote Access to Library Resources

The digital resources of the Law School Library are available to enrolled students through VPN access

Research and Instruction

We are here to support you with opportunities for remote instruction, course materials, and teaching and learning. If you have questions about any library services while you are off campus, please reach out to and we will answer promptly.

  • Research librarians will continue to be available for consultations via Zoom. To set up an appointment, please email
  • During regular Research Services hours, reference librarians will also offer drop-in research office hours. Go to Ask a Librarian to connect. 

Acquisitions and Ordering Information

If you need additional materials during this time of online teaching and learning, please email the Harvard Law School Library at to request a title. If a title is available electronically, the HLSL Acquisitions Unit will make every effort to make it available.  It is helpful if you indicate whether the material is for a class, research paper, journal work, etc..

In many cases, the title you seek may not be available in electronic format. Please indicate if you’d like it to be purchased in print format and made available to you when normal operations resume. Due to ongoing global circumstances and anticipated backlogs, we cannot guarantee timely receipt of your print requests and appreciate your patience.

Resource Sharing: ILL and Scan & Deliver

Borrowing print materials has been suspended until further notice. Items will no longer be requestable in HOLLIS. BorrowDirect and interlibrary loan have also been halted for the time being. The scan and deliver service is also currently paused .

Check for the most up-to-date information about Harvard Library services.

Additional open resources for getting access to research material

Zoom & Canvas Support

If you need help related to your course Canvas sites or Zoom access for remote learning, HLS ITS and the Library's Teaching, Learning & Curriculum team are available to help. 

Historical & Special Collections

Historical & Special Collections (HSC) is closed, but HSC staff are responding to research queries and holding research consultations remotely. Because staff are not onsite, reproduction services are limited to providing high-resolution copies of already-digitized images. To ask a question or get help, please email

Check Out & Return Policy

Policy for Checked-Out Materials & Returns

We recognize that access to physical materials is a concern for many students, so we offer the following guidance for checked-out materials:

Checked Out Materials

You may take any regular loan books with you that you need for the spring and summer, and return them by mail when you are done with the books or when we reopen. The library is taking steps to ensure nothing will be due before the end of the semester, and that materials will auto-renew to September.

We will extend due dates, reset renewal periods, and turn off recalls and overdue fines.

Contact us with any questions about your checked-out books, including any “book overdue” emails you may receive:


The Library and other Law School buildings are closed. Please do not bring any books to campus to be returned. 

You can return your books via mail. Please mail your books to:

Harvard Law School Library
1545 Massachusetts Avenue
Langdell Hall 262
ATTN: Circulation
Cambridge, MA 02138

Please include a note in the package to let us know these are checked out books you are returning. Books may be returned at book rate or ground shipping.
NOTE: Please return Reserve materials, and do not take them off campus. 

Finding Reliable Information & Taking Care of Yourself

During this time of uncertainty, we care about your health and well-being, both mental and physical. We know there is a lot of misinformation floating around, and we are here to help you. Please use this page to locate accurate information about the virus, as well as up to date information from the university.

Harvard Resources

Reliable COVID-19 Information

Is it Real?

Misinformation can spread quickly during a crisis. These fact-checking resources can help you evaluate the truthfulness of what you hear.

Contact Us

Questions about...

Circulation, access and general Library information:

Research and course materials:

Historical & Special Collections:

Canvas course websites:

 Still need help? Search our FAQ at