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, and identifying, locating, photocopying, and sometimes purchasing or borrowing materials. The libraries also assist in making some reserves available online by either digitizing print materials or linking to electronic resources. 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 Course iSites, is available through the FAS Instructional Computing 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 Web 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 Reserves Tool Quick Reference Guide for Faculty and Course Staff for basic information about submitting reserves requests. For more information about the Reserves Tool and other tool in Course iSites, visit the FAS Instructional Computing Group Web site.

Reserves staff in each of the Participating Libraries 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.

Reserves in Digital Format

Cabot, Harvard-Yenching, and Tozzer libraries currently are equipped to digitize reserves materials for the courses they support. Because of copyright restrictions and associated fees, the libraries decide what to digitize on a title by title basis. Harvard College Library cannot provide digitization services for materials for Core classes.

Some libraries that support reserves have digitized copies of materials created in prior semester, even though they do not currently provide digitization services. Inquire about the availability of digitized materials at your supporting library.

Only text-based materials like a journal article, a book chapter, or a portion of a collection or anthology, such as a poem, are suitable for digitizing. Entire books cannot be digitized; please specify the chapter to be scanned when submitting the reserves request. Scanned items are available to students in PDF format.

Harvard College Library requests permission to digitize readings and to make them accessible to students. Occasionally, a copyright owner will deny our request to digitize or will charge a prohibitive fee. In these cases, the reading will be taken off electronic reserve and you will be notified. If a permission request for a reading has been denied in a previous semester, we will initiate a request for permission but cannot place the reading on electronic reserve until permission is granted.

As classes begin, e-reserves are accessible to everyone with a Harvard ID and University PIN. (To obtain a University PIN go to After Study Card Day, access is limited to students registered for the course. Faculty with digitized course reserves receive a password so that they can access the materials for that course. The course password can also be distributed to cross-registered students who do not have Harvard IDs and PINs.

Participating Libraries and Reserves Staff Contact Information

Cabot Science Library offers both digitization of materials and linking for selected courses. It supports reserves required readings for all undergraduate science courses and graduate courses in the Mathematics, Statistics, and Earth and Planetary Sciences departments. Optional reserves readings will be considered for purchase and addition to the general Cabot collection. For assistance with Cabot reserves requests, faculty or TAs should contact Reserves Supervisor Lidia Berger via e-mail or at 617-484-7469.

Fine Arts Library supports reserves for undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of History of Art and Architecture with the exception of Core Curriculum courses. Additional support for undergraduate and graduate courses in the departments/faculties of Classics, African and African American Studies, and Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning may be provided, if requested. For assistance with Fine Arts Library reserves requests, faculty or TAs should contact the reserves staff via e-mail.

Harvard-Yenching Library supports reserves for all East Asia-related courses offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. It has primary responsibility for language and graduate courses in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. For assistance with Harvard-Yenching Library reserves requests, faculty or TAs should contact reserves staff via e-mail.

Lamont Library supports reserves readings for most undergraduate courses offered by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Lamont Library does not support courses offered outside the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, regardless of undergraduate enrollment. The library supports most graduate courses in the following departments: Celtic, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, Germanic Languages and Literatures, History, History of Science, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Lamont does not support the following graduate courses:

Anthropology 200-399 (Tozzer Library), East Asian Languages and Civilizations 200-399 (Harvard-Yenching Library), History of Art and Architecture 200-399 (Fine Arts Library)

Lamont does not support the following undergraduate courses:

Anthropology tutorials (Tozzer Library only), East Asian Languages and Civilizations language courses (Harvard-Yenching Library only), Extension School courses (Grossman Library only), History of Art and Architecture 10-199 (Fine Arts Library), Sciences 10-199 (Cabot Library)

For assistance with Lamont reserves requests, faculty or TAs should contact Lamont Library at 617-495-2452 or via e-mail.

Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library supports reserves required readings for all Harvard Music Department courses, with the exception of Core courses. We can make exceptions when a non-Music Department course needs materials primarily from Music Library collections, as well as provide additional multiple copies of materials for Core music courses when needed (as requested by Morse/Lamont).

For assistance with Loeb Music Library reserves requests, faculty or TAs should contact the Public Services desk in the Loeb Music Library at 617-495-2794 or via e-mail.

Tozzer Library offers linking to course readings in Harvard's e-resources for all courses it supports. It supports reserves required readings for all courses taught by the faculty of the Anthropology Department. In addition Tozzer also supports congruent courses, such as in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, sometimes taught by faculty other than those in Anthropology.

For assistance with Tozzer reserves requests, faculty or TAs should contact Tozzer via e-mail.

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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 in the Courses section of my.harvard. 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 PIN. 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 University PIN can use the course password, available from the instructor, for access to scanned readings. 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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