HOLLIS, Harvard's library catalog, is the best resource for locating manuscripts at Houghton. From the HOLLIS record, you can view digitized materials (if available) and request materials for reading room consultation.


If you already know the call number (shelfmark) of the manuscript, the fastest way to locate the record is to enter the call number without spaces (e.g., msfr495 or mssyriac62) as a general keyword search. This does not work for call numbers with special characters such as parentheses.
screenshot of basic HOLLIS search for MS Fr 435

For any and all call number searching, go to Starts with/Browse > Browse by > Call number - Other and enter the call number as usual (including spaces and special characters).
Call number search for Inc 4095(A)

Digitized materials

The Show Only > Online search limiter in HOLLIS will limit to those manuscripts that are fully or partially digitized. Read more about advanced searching here.

In addition, most of Houghton's digitized manuscripts are presented in the Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts digital collections page.

Finding aids

Finding aids are primarily used to describe archival collections. Some Houghton collections that comprise multiple medieval manuscripts--mainly fragments or documents--are also described in more detail in finding aids. If a finding aid exists for a collection, it’ll be linked out from the HOLLIS record. You can also search finding aids separately in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

Some examples of early manuscript collections described in a finding aid: