Not affiliated with Harvard but interested in visiting one of our libraries? You’re in the right place.
While access to some Harvard Library resources is restricted to Harvard community members, there’s still plenty for the public to explore.
What You Need To Know
- Visitor policies vary by library and are detailed on each library's page.
- Our special collections and archives are open to all researchers. Learn more about accessing special collections.
- If you want to borrow from a collection, you’ll need to contact the Privileges Office.
- Many libraries require visitors to present a government issued ID before entering.
- Staff may ask to search your bags before you leave the library.
If you’re planning to visit a particular library, we recommend reviewing its visitor policy and hours.
Harvard University alumni are welcome to visit the Harvard Library.
Each library has its own requirements for alumni access, so when planning a visit we encourage you to contact a library directly or contact the Privileges Office.
Harvard Library Privileges Office
Harvard Library offers various levels of access to visiting researchers and scholars from other institutions.
Special Collections & Archives
Harvard Library's special collections and archives, as well as government document collections, are open to all researchers regardless of academic affiliation. Learn more about accessing Harvard Library's special collections and archives.
If you’re traveling to Harvard for a research visit, individual libraries often ask to hear from you ahead of time. That way they can ensure the materials you need are available.
Researchers wishing to access or borrow from the library's general collections have several options. The Privileges Office in Widener Library has details on the various access options available to visitors.