Access and Use

We encourage the use of Historical Collections materials for teaching and for research.

Materials for use in the Secure Reading Room on the third floor are designated in HOLLIS, Harvard's online catalog, with the prefix, Historical Collections.

Historical Collections materials are generally available Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM, excluding University holidays. With the exception of materials housed at Harvard Depository, most materials are available for same-day access.

Requesting Materials

  • Harvard researchers may place requests for Historical Collections materials directly through the HOLLIS catalog.
  • All may request Historical Collections-Harvard Depository materials by emailing citation information or HOLLIS number to:
  • Please note: Historical Collections materials housed at the Harvard Depository must be requested at least one day in advance of your visit.

For questions about particular items or about how to access them, please contact Historical Collections:

Phone: 617.998.1424
Visit: Andover-Harvard, Room 303

Preparing for Your Visit

You will receive an email notice when requested items are ready.

When you arrive to use materials, please check in with staff on the 3rd floor (Room 303).

All patrons will be asked to present a Harvard ID or government-issued photo ID in order to access Historical Collections.

Cameras and camera phones, laptops, and pencil and paper are allowed in the Reading Room.

Some materials may be scanned using our edge scanner, but only with the permission of library staff.