How to...

Visit Libraries at Harvard

Not a Harvard ID holder? Whether coming for research or pleasure, there are plenty of opportunities to experience our events, exhibits and resources.​


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

If you’re planning to visit a particular library, we recommend reviewing its visitor policy and hours.

Browse Locations and Hours

Did You Know?

Millions of items from Harvard Library's collections have been digitized and made available online for use by researchers across the globe.

Events & Exhibits

Many library events and exhibits are open to the public, and several of our libraries, including Widener Library, offer weekly tours for Harvard ID holders and their guests.

Exhibits cover a wide range of topics representing the library’s unparalleled special collections and archives.

Tours are an excellent way to learn about the history, architecture, people, and events that make up the rich history of Harvard Library. 

An event at Houghton Library

Public Events

Some library events are open to the public. Check the event details for admittance information.

An exhibit at Houghton Library


Library exhibits tell the unique stories of our diverse and deep collections. Many are open to the public.

A visitor takes an image inside Widener Library


Browse upcoming library tours. Some tours are open to the public, others are open to Harvard ID holders and their guests.


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

Widener Library


Visiting Researchers

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.

Browse Library Locations and Hours

General Collections

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. 

Browse Visitor Access Options