This guide is selective and intended as a point of departure for research by Warren Center fellows..

General sources for --  Biography  --  Digital Libraries/Collections  --  Personal Writings/Oral History  --  Periodical Articles  --  News Sources: Newspapers and Broadcast New  --  Archives and Manuscripts  --  Document Collections/Microfilm  --  Government Documents  --  Digital/Microfilm Government Archives  --  Historical Statistics/Data  --  Maps  --  Images  --  Film  --  Television  --  Radio  --  may be found in the Library Research Guide for History and other guides.

Please feel free to email questions. We can make an appointment for you to come in, and we can talk at length about your project.

Anna Assogba (assogba@fas.harvard.edu) Research Librarian, Lamont Library.

Fred Burchsted (burchst@fas.harvard.edu) Research Librarian and Liaison for American Studies, Widener Library

Joshua Lupkin (joshua_lupkin@harvard.edu) Charles Warren Librarian for American History


ArchiveGrid and other archives search methods are described in the Library Research Guide for Finding Manuscripts and Archival Collections

Web of Science Citation Indexes allow citation searching, that is, starting with an article of interest and finding more recent articles that have cited it. More information.

The great majority of U.S. and foreign government documents and the publications of international organizations are housed in the Government Documents/Microforms Collection. Reference expertise in statistics and data is also available there. Many government documents are not represented in the HOLLIS Catalog. Email is govdocs@fas.harvard.edu

Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science

IQSS Dataverse Network   "Access the world's largest collection of social science research data by searching across or browsing through one of the virtual data archives (called "dataverses"). Each dataverse hosted by a Dataverse Network is a virtual archive or organizer of research data. Data sets are often organized within collections and sub-collections. Dataverse collections include ICPSR, Roper, NARA, Census Bureau and Numeric Data Services. Faculty members and researchers also create their own dataverses to archive their data. Currently over 50 individual scholars from universities around the country have created dataverses and made them available from the IQSS Dataverse Network"

HathiTrust Digital Library

Searching HOLLIS+ without keywords, using only limits and Finding all material published in a city, state or country

Searching state or city as author for government documents:

For HOLLIS+, use the “Browse HOLLIS By…” link on the basic search screen and browse Author: Arkansas.

In HOLLIS Classic, on the basic search screen, adjust the menu to Author (Last name first): Arkansas.

If you use HOLLIS+, you can refine your search results in the left hand column.  In HOLLIS Classic, you can use Modify search to add a keyword search to your results set.  There are advantages to both methods.

More sources for state documents

The overlapping lists in these four websites provide access to local digital collections:

General Information

There is a guide to Finding Materials in Widener.  Social Science and humanities material including much secondary and some primary material is in Widener, but the bulk of more specialized material is the Gutman Education Library.

Finding a pertinent book on the shelf and then looking at its neighbors is an excellent way of finding more material, because the call number system is also a subject system:  QH 30 means biographies of biologists and naturalists.

If a book is checked out, you can probably get it within 1-4 days via Borrow Direct.  This is quicker than recalling it from the person who has it.

The new Harvard Direct system allows you to request a book from Countway Medical, the Law Library or Widener to be delivered to another.  Hit Request item on the HOLLIS record for a book that is not checked out.  More on Harvard Direct.

If you have the citation to an article which is not available online or the pages or chapter (up to 30 pp.) from a book, Scan & Deliver will email you the pdf within 1-4 days. Hit Scan & Deliver on the HOLLIS record.

Interlibrary Loan will obtain, generally within 1 week-10 days, material not held by Harvard.  This includes books (for which try the quicker Borrow Direct first), DVDs, microfilm and other formats.  ILL will also obtain scans of periodical articles and book chapters not available at Harvard: choose Request Article/Chapter under ILL Requests on your ILL page.  This takes only 1-4 days. Use WorldCat to verify references for InterLibrary Loan. Give them the Accession no. at the bottom of the WorldCat record in the OCLC field of the ILL request form.

Harvard Library portal:

  • E-Resources
  • List of libraries includes:
    • Libraries by subject
    • Overview of archives and special collections
  • Research Support includes links to Get It Services

Research Guides

Guide to Graduate Student Resources covers many of the basics, including use of the online catalog, HOLLIS, and the Harvard gateway to electronic resources, Harvard Library. To find research guides in Harvard Library: E-Resources: choose Subject + Resource Type: Research Guides. Guides are also available via the Harvard Libguides site which includes some guides not accessible through Harvard Library.

Library Research Guide for Visiting Scholars in History, History of Science and American Studies

Shuttle Buses are available for traveling within Cambridge and to the Allston and Longwood campuses.

Carrels in the Widener stacks are available in limited supply.

Widener Library Tours are available.

Locations of Computers, Scanners, Copiers, etc. in HCL libraries

Finding Book Reviews

Finding Dissertations and Theses

For rich collections and expertise in law, contact the Harvard Law Library.  Archival and rare book material is housed in the Historical & Special Collections.

The great majority of U.S. and foreign government documents and the publications of international organizations are housed in the Government Documents/Microforms Collection. Reference expertise is also available there. Many government documents are not represented in the HOLLIS Catalog.

The Harvard Map Collection contains one of the world’s finest collections of maps. Although their atlases are in HOLLIS, most of their individual maps are not.