You are here




About Borrow Direct


Borrow Direct enables Harvard University students, faculty, and staff with library borrowing privileges and active e-mail accounts to borrow books directly from the libraries of Brown, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale. Stanford University will be joining the summer of 2017. The library bears the cost of the service and there is no charge to patrons.


What Can Be Borrowed

  • all printed books (monographs) and music scores that are lent by the owning library
  • some audio-visual material (DVDs, videos), or microforms (film, fiche)


What Can't Be Borrowed

  • books held in the Harvard Library collection that are on the shelf and available for lending
  • books assigned to reference, reserve, or rare book collections by the owning library
  • bound journals or journal articles


Response Time


Available books usually arrive within four (4) business days.




A notice is sent to your e-mail account when a requested book arrives.


Participating Libraries

The following is a list of Harvard libraries and locations that currently lend their collections to Borrow Direct.

  • Baker
  • Gutman
  • Loeb Music
  • Countway
  • Harvard Depository
  • Law
  • Design
  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Widener
  • Divinity
  • Harvard-Yenching
  • Lamont

Borrow Direct books can be returned to any Harvard Library.


Loan Period


Six weeks. Recalled books must be returned within three days (standard daily fines will accrue for books not returned by the due date).

Beginning July 2017, material will be loaned for 16 weeks, without renewals.




One six-week renewal. Please renew books through 'My Account/Renew' in HOLLIS+. The renewal option will be eliminated after July 2017, as all items will be loaned for 16 weeks. 



Important Information for Users of Assistive Technologies

 Known Problems for Screen ReadersSearch results: When a search is submitted, the search results page refreshes several times before the searching is complete. If your screen reader does not reveal the changing page status, please wait for approximately 30-45 seconds. Then, reload the page and reread it from the beginning.Item requests: When an item is requested, the page refreshes several times before specifying that the request has been submitted. If your screen reader does not reveal the changing page status, please wait for approximately 30-45 seconds. Then, reload the page and read it from the beginning.Page navigation: We are working to improve internal page navigation for users of screen readers.Known Problems for Speech Recognition SoftwareSearch results: If your speech recognition software does not recognize text links on the search results page, please refer to Library Support for Users with Disabilities for assistance.