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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

September 01, 2021
The Schlesinger Library is open to Harvard students, faculty, and staff, by appointment, as of September 1st. Harvard ID holders can make an appointment by using the Ask a Schlesinger Librarian webform. The Library plans to open to visiting researchers, by appointment, in early October. We encourage visiting researchers to check back with us in mid-September for updates.

For more information about our services and ways to get in touch, please visit the Ask a Schlesinger Librarian page. Check out our guide to help you locate resources online. Please share your research questions via the Ask a Schlesinger Librarian webform.


1. Contact us in advance of your visit

  • Appointments are required, so please use our Ask a Schlesinger Librarian form to contact us about your visit. In additional setting an appointment we can:
    • recommend additional sources and provide in-depth research help.
    • help coordinate access to the materials. Many of our collections are stored off-site and some have access restrictions.
    • assist with access to other formats such as A/V materials and oversized items, as those 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

  • Harvard students, faculty, and staff should bring their Harvard ID.
    • When we reopen more broadly, visiting researchers should bring 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.