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Planning a Visit to Schlesinger Library

We look forward to seeing you! The Schlesinger Library is open to the public and welcomes all visitors. The Schlesinger Library is a non-circulating, special collection within the Harvard Library.

The Essentials

Please note: Coronavirus and Schlesinger Library Access (as of March 13):

In the interest of reducing the number of people on campus and slowing the opportunity for transmission, the Library will be closed temporarily beginning Saturday, March 13th. This is a rapidly evolving situation so we urge you to check back for updates.

Staff will be working remotely, but we are still available to help! Your research questions can be submitted via the Ask a Schlesinger Librarian webform. We also posted a guide to help you locate resources online during the closure.

Please note that response times may be affected as we assist Harvard students and faculty with their remote learning and research needs. We appreciate your patience.


1. Contact us in advance of your visit

  • Appointments are not required, but please use our Ask a Schlesinger Librarian form to contact us about your visit.
    • We can recommend additional sources and provide in-depth research help.
    • Many of our collections are stored off-site and some have access restrictions.
    • Access to some formats, such as A/V materials and oversized items, require advance notice.
  • See this research guide for more detailed information about placing requests.


2. Document Cameras available in Reading Room 

  • Each table is equipped with document cameras. Learn more and download the software.
  • Prefer to use your own camera or phone? No problem, just turn off your flash and leave your camera case and tripod behind.

3. What to bring

  • A form of photo identification. You will present your identification at the reception desk and complete a brief registration form. 
  • Pencils, digital cameras, laptops, and flash drives are welcome in the Reading Room. We have extras of all of these items to lend. 
  • Leave notebooks, folders, jackets, wallets, computer and camera cases, and bags in our lockers. We provide lined loose-leaf paper.