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Access Services
Welcome Harvard Visitors
 

Summary

 

Welcome to Harvard Library!

To ensure that you have a smooth visit, wencourage you to contact the Harvard Library Privileges Office before your visit (Phone: 617-495-4166 and Email: library_privileges@harvard.edu). If you wish to contact a specific library directly, please see this list of individual libraries.

What to bring: Many Harvard Libraries require visitors to bring a government-issued photo ID.

Where to go: Many Harvard College Libraries require visitors to go to the Harvard Library Privileges Office in Widener Library before visiting the specific library. In addition, the Harvard Library Privileges Office can also help direct you about where to go and what to bring if you plan on visiting any of the other Harvard Libraries.

 
 
 

General Access & Privileges Information

 

E-Resource Access - Licensed electronic resources are available to on-site users of Harvard's libraries for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. 

For information about visitor access and borrowing costs for specific visitor types, please visit our Access & Borrowing Fees page.

Questions?

 

     
     

    Affiliates of Other Institutions

     

     

    MIT Affiliates

    ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

    What to bring: MIT ID, Government issued photo ID.

    Privileges details: Log in to Borrow Direct with your MIT Credentials to verify eligibility. 

    • Faculty and staff cards are issued through August 31. Student cards are issued through May 31.
    • Material available via Borrow Direct can be borrowed for 6 weeks plus renewal. Regular loan material not available via Borrow Direct can be borrowed for 28 days plus renewal. 
    • HL Special Borrower card for MIT faculty, staff, and students provides:
      • Borrowing privileges at: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Baker Library, Cabot Science Library, Chemistry Library, Countway Medical Library, Ernst Mayr Library, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Fine Arts Library, Fung Library, Gutman Education Library, Harvard Kennedy School Library, Harvard Law School Library, Harvard-Yenching Library, Lamont Library, Loeb Design Library, Physics Research Library, Tozzer Library, Widener Library, and Wolbach Library for Astrophysics.
      • On-site access at: Houghton Library, Schlesinger Library

     

    BorrowDirect+ Affiliates

    Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

    What to bring: A government issued photo ID.

    Privileges details:

    • HCL Special Borrower card for faculty, research staff, graduate students and undergraduate students at Borrow Direct member institutions provides:
      • Borrowing privileges at: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Cabot Science Library, Center for European Studies Library, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Frances Loeb Design Library, Fine Arts Library, Gordon McKay Library for Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard Kennedy School Library, Harvard Law Library, Harvard-Yenching Library, Tozzer Library, Widener Library, and Wolbach Library for Astrophysics
      • On-site access at: Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Fine Arts Library, Fung Library, and Lamont Library
    • In order to demonstrate eligibility, applicants will be asked to log in to Borrow Direct using the credentials from their home institution.

     

    Fletcher Affiliates

    Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

    What to bring: Present a campus ID.

    Privileges details:

    • Fletcher student cards are issued through May 31 or August 31 if part of a summer program. Fletcher faculty cards are issued through October 31.
    • ​Access and borrowing is available at the following libraries: Andover-Harvard Theological, Cabot, Center for European Studies, Kennedy, Lamont, Law, Loeb Music, McKay, Harvard-Yenching, Tozzer, Widener, and Wolbach.
    • Access is available at the following libraries: Baker and Gutman.

     

    Theological Schools

    Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

    What to bring: A government issued photo ID and a valid student ID.

    Privileges details:

    • Three local divinity schools (Andover-Newton Theological School, Episcopal Divinity School, and the Swedenborg School of Religion) have reciprocal agreements with the Harvard Library and are granted special library privileges.
    • HCL Special Borrower Card- Valid for access and borrowing at the following libraries: Andover-Harvard Theological, Cabot, Center for European Studies, Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont (access only), Loeb Music, McKay, Tozzer, Widener, and Wolbach.

     

    University of Tokyo

    Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

    What to bring: A government issued photo ID and a valid university ID.

    Privileges details:

    • Visiting Researcher Card- Valid for access only at all Harvard libraries.
    • Some libraries may require a University of Tokyo ID for entry.
       
       

      HU Affiliated Institutes, Centers and Programs

       

      ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

      What to bring: A government issued photo ID.

      Privileges details:

      • Centers include: European Studies, Weatherhead, Middle Eastern Studies, Study of World Religions, Berkman, Fairbanks, Housing Studies, Asia, Davis, and Rockefeller
      • Institutes include: Learning in Retirement HILR, Korea Institute, Reischauer Institute, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, and Lincoln Institute/International Tax Program
      • Special Borrower Card- Valid for access and borrowing at the following libraries: Andover-Harvard Theological, Cabot, Center for European Studies, Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont (access only), Loeb Music, McKay, Tozzer, Widener, and Wolbach.
         
         

        Other Affiliations

         

         

        Spouse/Domestic Partners

        ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

        What to bring: A government issued photo ID and a copy of the spouse HUID (photocopy or picture). If last names differ we will need to see a copy of a lease, bill, marriage certificate or other piece of official mail with both partners names listed as residing at the same address.

        Privileges details:

        • Special Borrower Card- Valid for access and borrowing at the following libraries: Andover-Harvard Theological, Baker, Cabot, Center for European Studies, Chemistry, Countway, Fine Arts, Gutman, Harvard-Yenching, Kennedy, Lamont (access only), Law, Loeb Design, Loeb Music, McKay, Physics, Tozzer, Widener, and Wolbach.

         

        Parents of Current Students

        ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

        What to bring: A government issued photo ID and ability to verify the permanent address in the student's record.

        Privileges details:

        • Stacks Access Pass- Passes are issued on a daily basis to the following libraries: Cabot, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Loeb, Pusey, Tozzer, Widener
           
           

          Visiting Researchers

           

           

          Non-Harvard Faculty

          ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

          What to bring: A government issued photo ID and valid faculty photo ID.

          Privileges details:

          • Visiting Researcher Card- Valid for access but no borrowing at the following libraries: Cabot, Chemistry, Fine Arts, Fung, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Loeb Music, Physics, Tozzer, and Widener (no stacks access).
          • HCL Special Borrower Card- Valid for access and borrowing at the following libraries: Andover-Harvard Theological, Cabot, Center for European Studies, Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont (access only), Loeb Music, McKay, Tozzer, Widener, and Wolbach.

           

          Visiting Doctoral Students

          ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

          What to bring: A government issued photo ID, along with a photo ID card from their institution and a letter from their faculty advisor introducing the student and requesting the use of the Harvard Libraries. This letter should be printed on the Institution’s letterhead or come directly to library_privileges@harvard.edu from the faculty’s institutional email account.  

          Privileges details:

          • Visiting Researcher Card- Valid for access but no borrowing at the following libraries: Cabot, Chemistry, Fine Arts, Fung, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Loeb Music, Physics, Tozzer, and Widener (no stacks access).
          • HCL Special Borrower Card- Valid for access and borrowing at the following libraries: Andover-Harvard Theological, Cabot, Center for European Studies, Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont (access only), Loeb Music, McKay, Tozzer, Widener, and Wolbach.

           

          Visiting Students

          ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

          What to bring: A government issued photo ID and a letter from their school's reference librarian introducing the student and requesting the use of the Harvard Library's collections. This letter should be printed on the Institution’s letterhead or come directly to library_privileges@harvard.edu from the librarian's institutional email account. 

          Privileges details:

          • Visiting Researcher Card- Valid for access but no borrowing at the following libraries: Cabot, Chemistry, Countway, Fine Arts, Fung, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Law, Loeb Design, Loeb Music, Physics, Tozzer, and Widener (no stacks access).

           

          Outside Researchers

          ​Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

          What to bring: A government issued photo ID, along with a litter from their public library or institution's library stating that the material they are trying to access is not available through their library.

          Privileges details:

          • Visiting Researcher Card- Valid for access but no borrowing at the following libraries: Cabot, Chemistry, Fine Arts, Fung, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Loeb Music, Physics, Tozzer, and Widener (no stacks access).
             
             

            Archives & Special Collections Access

             

            Special Collections and Archives are open to all qualified researchers regardless of current academic affiliation.

            Special Collections

            Harvard College Library Special Collections (Houghton, Harvard Map Collection, Harvard-Yenching, Fine Arts, Loeb Music and Tozzer) require a Special Collections Card which can be obtained at the Harvard Library Privileges Office located in Widener Library. Please visit the registration page to create your account ahead of time.

            Other special collections around the University have their own access procedures. For information about access to a collection in a specific location, please visit the full list of Harvard Libraries for contact details.

            Harvard University Archives

            Located in Pusey Library, visitors must first obtain a temporary Harvard ID at the Harvard Library Privileges Office in Widener Library.

            For more information, please see the Harvard University Archives' Planning a Visit page. 

            For general information about Special Collections and Archival materials at Harvard please visit the Harvard Library Archives and Special Collections page.

               
               

              Harvard/MIT Reciprocal Access and Borrowing

               

               

              MIT Libraries Privileges for harvard affiliates 

              ​Eligibility: Harvard faculty, students, and staff are eligible for borrowing privileges at MIT Libraries.

              Where to go: The service desks at MIT's Barker, Dewey, Hayden, or Rotch Libraries.

              What to bring: HUID, Government issued photo ID.

              Privileges details: Log in to Borrow Direct with your HarvardKey Credentials to verify eligibility. 

              • Faculty and staff cards are issued through August 31. Student cards are issued through May 31.
              • Material can be borrowed for 60 days plus three renewals.
              • MIT Libraries Borrower card provides:
                • Borrowing privileges at:
                  • Barker Engineering Library
                  • Dewey Management & Social Sciences Library
                  • Hayden Science and Humanities Library
                  • Lewis Music Library
                  • Rotch Architecture and Planning Library
                • On-site access at:
                  • Institute Archives and Special Collections
                  • Library Storage Annex (by appointment)

               

              harvard library privileges for MIT affiliates

              Eligibility: MIT faculty, students, and staff are eligible for borrowing privileges at Harvard Library.

              Where to go: Harvard Library Privileges Office, Widener Library Room 130.

              What to bring: MIT ID, Government issued photo ID.

              Privileges details: Log in to Borrow Direct with your MIT Kerberos credentials to verify eligibility. 

              • Faculty and staff cards are issued through August 31. Student cards are issued through May 31.
              • Material available via Borrow Direct can be borrowed for 6 weeks plus one renewal. Other regular loan material can be borrowed for 28 days plus renewal.
              • HL Special Borrower card for MIT affiliates provides:
                • Borrowing privileges at:
                  • Andover-Harvard Theological Library
                  • Baker Library
                  • Cabot Science Library
                  • Chemistry Library
                  • Countway Medical Library
                  • Ernst Mayr Library
                  • Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
                  • Fine Arts Library
                  • Fung Library
                  • Gutman Education Library
                  • Harvard Kennedy School Library
                  • Harvard Law School Library
                  • Harvard-Yenching Library
                  • Lamont Library
                  • Loeb Design Library
                  • Physics Research Library
                  • Tozzer Library Widener Library
                  • Wolbach Library For Astrophysics 
                • On-site access at:
                  • Houghton Library
                  • Schlesinger Library