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Course Reserves

Looking for required and recommended reading for your classes? Check out what's available through course reserves.

What are Course Reserves?

Course reserves are library materials made available to students at the request of faculty. They include:

  • Print materials are placed on hold at specific Harvard Library locations for short term loans to students enrolled in the course.
  • Online materials available are linked within your course website.
  • In support of remote teaching, we have expanded our course reserves services for the 2020-21 academic year.

Digital Course Reserves

We can digitize your physical course reserves so they're available to your students in Canvas while you're teaching remotely.

For Faculty

We're ready to scan materials for the Spring 2021 semester. Within FAS, submissions before December 1 will receive priority.

At your request, our staff will:

  • Find links to existing digital materials
  • Scan articles and book chapters
  • Post digital content to a Library Reserves reading list on Canvas

Request and manage reserves via canvas


Things to know:

  • Faculty should continue to use the library reserves tool in Canvas to place all requests and follow any additional school-specific guidance. 
  • Library staff responding to faculty requests will first look for any existing digital access including e-book licensing, open access repositories, and the Hathi Trust Temporary Emergency Access Collection
  • If items are not available through any of those existing access points, library staff can scan requested items, which will be linked in Canvas and HOLLIS with a 3-hour loan period. 
  • Scanning requested items can take up to 4 weeks. Requests received by December 1 will receive priority. If you include a date-needed-by in your request, we will do our best to accommodate more urgently needed materials. 
  • To reuse materials from the Fall 2020 semester, follow the instructions to reuse a list, editing it to delete/add items. We will be able to make those items available in digital format once again for the Spring 2021 semester. 

Library Reserves, by School

Have a question about setting up reserves for your course? Email Access Services Reserves, or locate your contact below.


For Students

Details about reserves for your courses can be found via your course site.

Just look for the "Library Reserves" section, where you'll find links to online readings and information about how to access physical items placed on reserve.

Things to keep in mind 

  • Physical items placed on reserve are loaned out for three hours at a time.
  • You can check the availability of an item by clicking the links to HOLLIS on your course site.