Answered By: Odile Harter Last Updated: Feb 12, 2016 Views: 3736
For Harvard's print collections:
If you are in or near Cambridge, Massachusetts, visit the Library Privileges Office (http://hcl.harvard.edu/info/admittance/#privileges) to learn about your options. Independent researchers not affiliated with Harvard must supply a valid photo ID card and a letter from the reference librarian of their university or public library stating that the specific library materials needed are not available elsewhere.
If you are not near Cambridge but are affiliated with a university, you should find out about your university’s interlibrary loan services (sometimes called interloan, document delivery, or document supply). Your institution may be able to borrow a book from Harvard or request a scan at no cost to you. Wikipedia offers a helpful overview of how interlibrary loan works (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlibrary_loan).
If you are not near Cambridge and are not affiliated with a university, another option is to request images of Harvard materials through Harvard’s Imaging Services (http://hcl.harvard.edu/info/imaging/inquiry.cfm#patron). Copyright restrictions apply, and there is a fee per page scanned. Imaging Services will respond to your request with a cost estimate.
For special collections or e-resources, see:
"I am coming from abroad and I need to access special collections in a number of different Harvard Libraries." (http://asklib.hcl.harvard.edu/faq/82111)
"Am I able to access the Harvard Libraries' electronic research databases, e-journals and electronic resources?"(http://asklib.hcl.harvard.edu/faq/81901)
Theses and Dissertations:
If you're looking for a thesis it may be available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text. If not, you may be able to request a copy through the Library's Imaging Services department for Harvard College items and through the other Harvard Libraries for those items produced at Harvard University but outside Harvard College.
Imaging Services may also be able to provide copies of specific items from the general collections.