Remote Research

What to do when you don't have full access to Harvard's print collections


  • English, Comp Lit, and RLL affiliates: contact Odile if you need something and can't find access. I'm here to help you troubleshoot!
  • Sign up to receive Harvard Library update emails (every 2-4 weeks) about newly reopened library services and other pandemic-related adjustments and accommodations.
  • The yellow banner alert at the top of links to the latest information on Harvard's library services.



Remember that HOLLIS's "Everything" is NOT everything

  • Some items may lack an "ONLINE ACCESS" link, or not exist in HOLLIS at all, and yet still be available to you via another Harvard-licensed platform
  • Ebook access is often listed separately from print holdings: in HOLLIS, use the "book" and "online" filters to check for additional listings

Look for Temporary Access options (HathiTrust, etc.)

  • Emergency Full Text Access via HathiTrust - you will see this option in HOLLIS, or you can go directly to HathiTrust. Once in HathiTrust, select "temporary access," then "Check Out." Make sure you are logged in at the HathiTrust site, otherwise you won't see the access options. 
  • Many publishers and vendors have increased your Harvard Key can access and/or removed paywalls altogether

Don't forget your public library! 

Public Libraries - Online Access & Book Pickup
  • Harvard students are eligible for an ecard to the Boston Public Library

    • Note: normally, BPL requires that you register from a computer with a Massachusetts ip address, but they're aware that they may see out-of-state registrations coming from email addresses, and your registration should be approved. If it's not approved, let me (Odile) know.
  • If you are located outside of Massachusetts, check your local public library and/or ask the librarians there about additional online access options (or just Google: [town name] [state] public library ebooks)
Public Universities
  • Many public universities offer some kind of borrowing privileges to all residents of the state. Search for "library privileges" plus the name of the public university or college closest to you.



Book reviews:


  • Performing a cited reference search is a good way to find these. Start with Google Books and Google Scholar.

Encyclopedia entries and scholarly companions:



Most experts recommend browsing (walking the library shelves, flipping through an entire volume) as the best method to gain a sense of the "landscape" and to find overlooked or unexpected material

  • Starts with/browse option in HOLLIS - call number is especially helpful. (See the HOLLIS User Guide for tips.)
  • Most platforms offer ways to explore serendipitously. Look for:
    • "collections"
    • "browse"
    • "publications"
    • "about"
  • When you find good content, look at the top of the web page and on side menus for links back to the larger container so you can explore that---the specific issue an article appeared in, the journal, the book or book series, the themed collection, etc.




Searchable Full Text Scholarship

Top picks for literary studies, reproduced from