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COVID-19 Update

Harvard Law School Library is open to current Harvard ID holders only. Access to alumni, special borrowers, and outside researchers is currently on hold.

The Harvard Law School Library is a private research facility that exists primarily to support the educational and research needs of the Harvard Law School faculty, staff, and students and, secondarily, the needs of the Harvard University community. Consistent with its primary purpose, Harvard Law School Library attempts to serve the legitimate needs of scholars and researchers requiring access to the Law Library’s unique collections. Please note:

  • Borrowing is limited to current Harvard ID holders.
  • During exam periods, access is restricted to current Harvard law affiliates and collection users. Harvard University ID holders can always enter to retrieve a book to check out at the Circulation Desk.
  • Manuscript and visual materials, along with rare books, are housed in the Library’s Special Collections. For information concerning access to these materials, please visit the Historical & Special Collections page.
  • The library staff is not available for legal advice. Please see this list of resources for assistance.

Questions about access and borrowing at HLS? Please contact the Langdell Circulation Desk staff, 617-495-3455, or email Circulation and Access.

Please consult the Harvard Library Visitor Access page for information on which libraries are open for in-person visitor access.


Research Assistants

Faculty Research Assistants must obtain a Research Assistant card through the Library Access and Borrowing Office. This card gives access to the Law Library, Harvard libraries, and electronic resources. Faculty choose whether the card is for borrowing books on their behalf. A Research Assistant is not required to be Harvard University student or employee.

Please direct questions to the Library Access and Borrowing Office, 617-495-4166 or email

Access to Electronic Resources

The Library subscribes to a number of electronic resources on behalf of Harvard Law School faculty, staff, and students; use of these resources is limited to members of the Harvard Law School community. Access is controlled by either IP address or password. See the Electronic Resources page for more information.

Access to Harvard Libraries

Policies on admittance and borrowing, hours, and services vary. For more information on all libraries at Harvard visit Inquire about eligibility to use the libraries at the Library Access and Borrowing Office , Widener Library, Room 130.

Photography, Video, Tour Groups

In order to respect the privacy of our students and to maintain the library as a place for quiet study, large tours, photography, videotaping and filming within the library are all not allowed. On rare occasions, special arrangements for filming can be made, however, permission must be obtained in advance. Please contact Law Library Administration, 617-495-3170 to request permission.