Course Reserves


Course Reserves Service for Faculty and Instructors

The Harvard College Library provides reserves support for many FAS courses. Services includes processing requests from faculty, identifying, locating, borrowing, and purchasing materials. The libraries also assist in making reserves available online by linking directly to   library digital resources when available. The following HCL libraries participate in the reserves program: Cabot, Fine Arts, Harvard-Yenching, Lamont, Loeb Music, and Tozzer.


Reserves Tool

The Reserves Tool, as part of your Canvas Course Site, is available through the Academic Technology Group. The tool maintains reserves lists from previous semesters and allows you to submit requests directly to the library that supports your course. Students can use their course site to access reserves lists with links to the HOLLIS records or with direct links to library digital resources. Instructors and students are able to see the current status of course readings as they are being processed by the libraries. See the  Library Reserves Quick Guide for basic information about submitting reserves requests. For more information about the Reserves Tool and other tools in Canvas, visit the Academic Technology Group page.


Reserves Staff Contacts

Reserves staff in each of the participating libraries affiliated with FAS are available to work with you throughout the reserves process.


Submission Deadlines

Although reserves requests will be accepted throughout the semester, turning in your lists well in advance of the semester ensures that reserves materials will be ready at the beginning of the semester.

Reserves requests can be submitted via the Reserves Tool following the schedule below:

  • Fall semester — beginning July 24
  • Spring semester — November 15
  • Summer semester — April 15  

Request Material Not Owned at the Supporting Library

If the library does not own a title that has been requested for reserves, we will attempt to borrow it from another Harvard library or purchase it. Purchasing decisions are made by the heads of each collection and are based on a number of factors, such as whether the work falls within the scope of the collection, how many copies exist at Harvard, cost, etc.


Course Reserves For Students

Reserves materials in hard copy are held in a number of libraries, depending upon the subject. Your instructor will let you know which library has your reading materials. Policies around use of reserves materials vary among libraries, so be sure to inquire when you check out a hard copy. Information about reserve readings is also available  on your course site. Opening an individual course listing will bring up reserves information, if there is any, with links provided to readings that are available in electronic format.

Reserves materials in electronic format can be accessed at the start of the semester by any student with a Harvard ID and Login. After Study Card Day, access is limited to students registered for the course. Students who are enrolled in a course but who do not have a Harvard ID and Login can use the course password, available from the instructor, for access to the course reserve list . Please note that these passwords do not allow access to the electronic resources on the Harvard Libraries site that are licensed by Harvard University. Access to those resources is available at the computers within the libraries at Harvard.

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