The Long and Short of It:

Enter your search terms in HOLLIS+ and limit to "Archives/Manuscripts."
You can do this either in Basic or Advanced Search.

Most archival libraries have routine procedures for using the materials they collect. All archives at Harvard explain their policies and procedures on their websites. You can find a library's website by clicking on the blue pointer symbol next to the library's name in HOLLIS+, under "Locations and Availability:"

Email me!
Steve Kuehler
Librarian for History and Literature

Using Subject Headings

It's often more effective if you search by Subject rather than just general Keywords. Here are some Library of Congress subject headings that are relevant to this course. (See the sidebar for an explanation of subject headings.)

  • France -- History -- Revolution
  • Haiti – History – Revolution, 1791-1804
  • Madagascar – History – Autonomy and independence movements
  • Madagascar – History – Revolution, 1947
  • Indochinese War, 1946-1954
  • Algeria – History – Revolution, 1954-1962
  • Djibouti – History – Autonomy and independence movements
  • Djibouti – History – 1977-
  • Vanuatu – History
  • Tunisia -- History -- Demonstrations, 2010
  • Women revolutionaries
  • Women -- Algeria


It's not necessary to type the dashes when you enter these in HOLLIS.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Most of the items in the Harvard Library system (including archives) are described in HOLLIS with subject headings created by the Library of Congress. Browsing the HOLLIS subject headings is a very effective way to find sources on a specific topic. But how do you find the right subject heading for your topic? For example, how do you know that the subject heading for "the French Revolution" is France – History – Revolution, 1789-1799? (In fact, those dates will vary depending on which part of the Revolutionary period a source covers.)

There's a bit of trial and error involved. The easiest way is to search HOLLIS for a book that you already know (one of your course readings, perhaps) and look at the subject headings in the HOLLIS record. You can also search HOLLIS with keywords like French Revolution to find books on the topic, and check their subject headings.

Once you've found a good subject heading, you can do a "Browse HOLLIS" search by Subject, using the heading that you've found. TIP: It's not necessary to type the dashes; France History Revolution is OK.

This will bring up a list of subject headings. Click on one that interests you. In the list of search results, check to see if "Archives/Manuscripts" is one of the Resource Types listed over on the side.