- The following fines apply to:
All undergraduates in all libraries. G1–G4 graduate students in all libraries. Faculty and Officers in Cabot, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Loeb Music, Tozzer. HCL Special Borrowers in all libraries

  • Overdue book or item: $0.50 per day
  • Overdue Recalled book or item: $2 per day
  • Overdue Reserve book or item: $0.02 per minute
  • Unreturned book or item: Replacement cost plus applicable overdue fines
  • Loaner laptop: Up to $14.40 per day
  • At Harvard-Yenching Library, fines for overdue videotapes, CDs, DVDs, and other audio-visual materials are $2.00 per day.

- The following fines apply to:
Faculty and Officers in Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching and Widener

  • Overdue Recalled book or item: $2 per day
  • Unreturned book or item: $100 minimum per item
  • Billing process fee : $10 per unreturned book or item


  1. Non-receipt of overdue notices does not exempt users from overdue fines. Please check your HOLLIS account regularly.
  2. Faculty are responsible for any fines and/or lost books charged on their behalf by any of their research assistants.
  3. The "Your Account" section of HOLLIS allows users to view their fines BEFORE they are transferred to term bill or accounts receivable. Please note that as soon as fines are transferred, they will no longer appear in the "Your Account" section; however, the fines are still due.
  4. If a bill is received from the Accounts Receivable or Term Bill offices, all payments must be made directly to those offices and cannot be made at the respective libraries. Please be certain the Accounts Receivable office and Term Bill offices have your correct address on file.
  5. Failure to pay overdue fines and/or replacement fees may result in the blocking of library privileges.
  6. Widener and Lamont fines appearing in the “My Account” section of HOLLIS, may be paid in person at the Widener Billing Office, Room 135, using MasterCard, Visa or Crimson Cash.
  7. For other HCL libraries, Please check with the respective library regarding acceptable methods of payment.
  8. Fines that are not paid in person are automatically transferred to the user's term bill or processed through accounts receivable at which point the fines will no longer appear in the “Your Account” section of HOLLIS.

Obtaining Materials from the Harvard Depository

Some library materials are stored at an off-site facility called the Harvard Depository (HD). This will be indicated in the availability section of the HOLLIS catalog record. Materials can be retrieved from the Harvard Depository directly through HOLLIS by following the prompts.

  1. Find a record in HOLLIS and choose format Full View
  2. Click on the Availability link
  3. Click on the Request link, (if there is no request button, follow the directions in the Item Status column)
  4. Enter your Harvard ID number and PIN
  5. Click on Send Request to complete your request
  6. Materials requested from HD will be available for pick-up at the owning library by 3 pm the next business day. An University PIN is required. Harvard University faculty, students, and staff may request a PIN at http://www.pin.harvard.edu/.

Authorized visitors with Widener Library Reading Room Privileges may request Widener HD items at the Phillips Reading Room Desk.


Material that is on loan to one library user may be recalled by another. Any item currently checked out can be recalled. (Once the item has been recalled, the date stamped on the checkout slip is no longer valid.)

A recall notice will come via mail or e-mail. Borrowers are guaranteed 10 days use with each charged item that is recalled, unless it is needed for reserves use. If the guaranteed use period has elapsed, the recalled item is due seven days after the date the recall is placed.

All borrowers, regardless of category, who do not respond promptly to recalls will be fined (see Fines) and may be subject to suspension of library borrowing privileges.

Any user with a valid Harvard ID or HCL Special Borrower Card can place a recall request. Recalls are placed through a HOLLIS catalog record by choosing Full View/Availability/Request and following the prompts.


Materials can be renewed either in person at the lending library or online, up to five times, via "My Accounts/Renew" in the HOLLIS catalog. After the fifth renewal, materials must be brought to the library to be checked out. Renewals are not accepted via telephone or fax.

Please note that if a borrower brings a book renewed online back into the lending library, it must be re-stamped at the Circulation Desk before it can leave the building. This quick procedure ensures that the book reflects the official due date recorded in the computer database. It also indicates to the doorchecker at the guard desk that the book is indeed checked out. All library users are responsible for returning or renewing items charged to them on time.


  1. There is no limit to the number of items a patron may borrow.
  2. Borrowing privileges within the Harvard College Library—Cabot, Fine Arts, Fung, Government Documents/Microforms, Harvard Map Collection, Harvard-Yenching, Houghton, Lamont, Loeb Music, Tozzer, and Widener—are extended to individuals who hold either a current Harvard ID or an HCL Special Borrower Card. (Note: In Lamont Library the Special Borrower Card must be embossed with a "C" or "U".) ID cards are not transferable
  3. All material is subject to Recall.
  4. A University PIN is required to access many online library resources.  Harvard University faculty, students, and staff may request a PIN at http://www.pin.harvard.edu/.
  5. All library users are subject to the terms of the HCL Patron Agreement, which is posted in student handbooks, on this site, and available in hard copy at each HCL library.

Online Catalogs

The best way to find resources at Harvard is to use the Harvard Library Portal, which links to all Harvard libraries as well as access to online catalogs. Currently Harvard Library has two three major online catalogs: Hollis+, Hollis  and Hollis Classic. Hollis+  is our new web-scale discovery system based on the Ex Libris product Primo, it allows you to find and access articles, books and more in one simple search. It offers patrons an easy starting point for exploratory research. HOLLIS+ is also great for interdisciplinary research since it covers a broad range of resources. HOLLIS+ also offers a simpler and more forgiving search than Hollis Classic and is great for known-item recall and general keyword searches.   Hollis provides the newest way to find library materials, with ranked results and easily-refined searches, and searchable tables of contents, Hollis will be faced out in December 2014.  While Hollis Classic, the original online catalog, allows users browse by subject, search by non-Latin scripts, search by call number, powerful "expanded search." You can use HOLLIS on your mobile device or download the iPhone app.

Other ways to search books include Borrow Direct and StackLife. Borrow Direct searches the catalogs of Ivy League libraries. Use it to borrow books and music scores directly from those libraries. StackLife is an experimental way to visually browse the Harvard Library and see books in different contexts on dynamic shelves, heat-mapped by Harvard community usage.

Visitor Policy

Harvard-Yenching Library admits all persons who hold a current Harvard ID, an HCL Special Borrower Card, or a Visiting Researcher Card.

Visitors from outside should go to Widener privileges office to get a Visiting Researcher Card before coming to the LIbrary. Faculty member or Ph.D. candidates of other universities should represent valid university ID cards OR a letter of introduction from the affiliated university on letterhead to obtain a Visiting Researcher Card.

For security purposes, all users' bags, briefcases, portfolios, backpacks, purses, books, library materials and drawing tubes are inspected as users exit the library. We appreciate your cooperation. Please note that it is University policy for doorcheckers to confiscate a Harvard ID if it has expired or if someone other than the ID holder attempts to use it to enter a library.