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Materials in Historical & Special Collections are open to everyone.

Request a Reading Room Appointment

Reading Room Hours

The Historical & Special Collections Reading Room, the Root Room, is open by appointment only. Appointments are available Tuesday-Friday, 10:00am-5:00pm. Materials must be requested at least two business days in advance.

Please check Historical & Special Collections’ homepage for upcoming closures.

HOLLIS Special Request (HSR)

All reading room users must have an account in HOLLIS Special Request (HSR). This system is where you manage reading room requests and reproduction requests for items at many special collections and archives at Harvard. If you are new to HSR, this HSR guide will help you get started.

Once you have submitted your request in HOLLIS Special Request, a member of our staff will be in touch to confirm your appointment time and the availability of the materials you requested.

For modern manuscript requests, we ask that researchers limit requests to ten boxes per day.

Please bring one of the following forms of identification with you:

  • Harvard ID
  • Harvard Special Borrowers Card
  • State-issued driver’s license or state-issued identification card
  • Passport (U.S. or foreign)

Library Services for Persons with Disabilities

The Root Room is located on the 4th floor of Langdell Hall. If you require disability-related accommodations, please contact Access Services at access@law.harvard.edu or (617) 495-3455 in advance of your visit.

Reading Room Policies & Handling Guidelines

Check out our Reading Room Policies to learn more about what you can bring into the reading room and guidelines for how to handle the materials.

Not sure how to handle special collections materials? These 10 Tips for Reading Room Success can help you preserve Harvard’s special collections and archives.

Directions & Parking

Directions

The Harvard Law School has written instructions for travel by car, but we recommend taking public transportation. For more detailed information regarding public transportation, see the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) website.

Parking

On-street metered parking in Harvard Square is scarce. Visitors may park on campus by purchasing a permit through the Harvard Campus Services website. Here is more information about visitor parking on campus.

Purchase a daily visitor parking permit.

The closest lots to the Law School Library are located at 10 Everett Street and 52 Oxford Street.

Holding Classes at the Harvard Law School Library’s Historical & Special Collections

Historical & Special Collections (HSC) at the Harvard Law School Library welcomes classes from Harvard and other institutions to use its collections both physically and virtually. To ensure the best experience for your class, and to allow us time to gather materials, reserve a room, and arrange for staffing, please contact us as soon as you know of your plans. We require a minimum of two weeks’ notice, and request as much notice as you are able to provide. To schedule a class visit, please contact:

Historical & Special Collections
specialc@law.harvard.edu

We look forward to working with you!