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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: COVID-19 Update

The Library building is currently closed to all researchers but we are open online. For more information about our services and ways to get in touch, please visit the Ask a Schlesinger Librarian page. We’ve  also posted a guide to help you locate resources online during the closure. Research questions can be submitted via the Ask a Schlesinger Librarian webform.


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 requesting guide for more detailed information about placing requests.


2. Document Cameras available in Reading Room 

  • Each table is equipped with document cameras. Learn more about Hovercams 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.