HOLLIS is the library's main search interface. You can search 'Everything' which is the library catalog and a large collection of citations for a variety of materials (HOLLIS does not contain everything Harvard owns, and Harvard doesn't own everything in HOLLIS but we can get you almost anything through services like BorrowDirect and Interlibrary Loan (ILL)), or you can search only the 'Library Catalog.'

Regardless of how you search, remember to sign-in to take full advantage of HOLLIS, especially to see borrowing links. 

  • Choose Everything if:
    • You want to explore the broadest variety of sources.
    • Your topic is very interdisciplinary or very current.
    • You already have the title of an article you want. 
  • Choose Library Catalog if:
    • You want book-length treatments of a topic.
    • You want to search Harvard's shelves.
    • You need reliable filters for authors and subjects.
  • If you specifically want to search Harvard's special collections and archives, especially for primary sources, you might want to use HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

 Best Practices for Searching in HOLLIS:

Skilled use of your search words will make a significant improvement in your search results. You will also need to conduct multiple searches and continually revise your search. Assess the titles, summaries/abstracts, and subject headings from search results. Adjust your search based on what you find. The Diagnose Your Search Problems tutorial provides help with adjusting searches.   

 Refining Your Results in HOLLIS:

Refining your results helps narrow down the search results to what you are looking for. Use the various options on the right-side of the search results.

 How to Browse in HOLLIS:

Open HOLLIS. Click on the  link above the search box. Then select SUBJECT. 

If you type in child health, you'll be redirected to the "official" way of describing this topic in libraries:

Click a particular subject phrase (or heading) in the list and you'll retrieve the titles for all the library-owned items that have been "tagged" this way.

Examples of other broad categories: 

Also, subject headings may relate to a subject's geography (united states, massachusetts, canada, etc), the time period (19th century, or 2lst century) or the type of information (statistics; legislation; handbooks; case studies; etc.).

Medical and Public Health Databases

Pub Med The key resource on biomedical literature used by clinicians and scholars in the U.S., produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). 

Global Health A large, Harvard-licensed  public health database that identifies research and scholarship on all aspects of public health, including international health.

CINAHL This Harvard Library-licensed database covers the important journals in the fields of nursing and allied health back to 1937. 

Web of Science This Harvard-licensed database is a curated, richly interdisciplinary collection of peer-reviewed, high-quality scholarly journals published worldwide over 250 science, social sciences, and humanities disciplines.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Once you're in the database, look for Cochrane Reviews-Browse Reviews. "Child Health" is among the topics you can browse. 

Sociology, Government, Psychology, and Law Databases


CQ Researcher A database of reports on political and social-policy issues from 1923 to the present. The historical feature allow you to see the evolution of the topic over time and to be able to see alls sides of an idea in debate. To start searching: Enter your topic in the search bar or click on the menu () and see a selection of topics to choose from. Sort your search from oldest or newest for current conversations or the longer history of a topic.  

CQ Researcher (well-respected journalistic-type overviews of social, political, and cultural issues of the moment)

Sociological Abstracts


Index to Legal Periodicals and Books 


2018 KidsCount Data Book (Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Children's Environmental HealthEnvironmental Protection Agency

ChildStats.gov (key national indicators of child well-being)

March of Dimes/CDC Peristats (free access to maternal and infant health-related data at the US, state, county, and city level)


 EXPERT LIBRARIAN: Diane Sredl a Data Research Librarian for the Harvard Library and the person to consult if you need numbers and aren't sure how to find them. To contact Diane, send your message to govdocs@fas.harvard.edu.


Google Scholar and Zotero

Google Scholar Settings: One simple change can turn Google Scholar into what's effectively a Harvard database -- with links to the full-text of articles that the library can provide. Here's what to do:  Look to the left of the GS screen and click on the menu (); then click on .  Look for "Library Links."  Then type Harvard University into the search box and save your choice.  As long as you allow cookies, the settings will keep.  

 Zotero is a free, open source citation management tool makes the process of collecting and organizing citations, incorporating them into your paper, and creating a bibliography or works cited page stress-free and nearly effortless.

It's worth the small investment of time to learn Zotero. A good guide, produced by Harvard librarians, is available here: http://guides.library.harvard.edu/zotero.