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Welcome to Archives and Special Collections at Harvard

Archives and special collections at Harvard encompass a vast array of rare and unique materials in a multitude of formats, from papyrus to born-digital records. These materials, held at more than 50 locations throughout the Harvard Library, support research by Harvard faculty and students, as well as an international community of scholars.

Nearly all of the collections are described in HOLLIS, Harvard’s online library catalog. Material from a number of collections is available online through digital collections, online exhibitions and HOLLIS. Please see individual repository websites for more information regarding the scope of collections, hours, locations, and contact information.

 
 

Overview of Collections

 
  • Archives and special collections at Harvard encompass a vast array of rare and unique materials in a multitude of formats, from papyrus to born-digital records. These materials, held at more than 50 locations throughout the Harvard Library, range from illuminated manuscripts and early printed books to business records, personal and family papers, maps, artifacts, images in all formats, motion picture films, and audio recordings. Recent areas of collecting include web sites, blogs, and other born-digital content. Nearly all of the collections are described in HOLLIS, Harvard’s online library catalog.

     
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Digital Collections

 
  • Harvard University provides open, online access to a rich selection of digital materials drawn from archives and special collections, including photographs, manuscripts, books, drawings, maps, diaries, audio recordings, musical scores and much more.

     
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Using the Collections

 
  • Archives and special collections at Harvard support research by Harvard faculty and students, as well as an international community of scholars. Most of the collections are described in HOLLIS and are open for research. Researchers can make use of an extensive selection of material available online through digital collections, online exhibitions, and HOLLIS, or visit repository reading rooms to work with collections. Specific access and use policies vary by repository; researchers should consult the individual repository websites for information regarding the scope of collections, reading room policies, hours, locations, and contact information.

     
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Online Exhibitions