The Schlesinger Library is open to the public and welcomes all visitors.
A part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, we are a noncirculating, special collection within The Harvard Library.
We invite you to do research. While no appointment is necessary to use the library's holdings, we advise that you plan your research visit. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the Library in advance of their visit.
Monday through Friday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
- Labor Day - Monday, Sept. 2
- Columbus Day - Monday, Oct. 14
- Veterans Day - Monday, Nov. 11
- Thanksgiving Recess - Noon on Wednesday, Nov. 27 through Friday, Nov. 29
- Winter Recess - Noon on Tuesday, Dec. 24 through Tuesday, Dec. 31
- New Year’s Day - Wednesday, Jan. 1
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Monday, Jan. 20
- Presidents’ Day - Monday, Feb. 17
- Memorial Day - Monday, May 26
- Independence Day - Friday, July 4
- Labor Day - Monday, Sept. 1
The library is located in Radcliffe Yard, three blocks outside of Harvard Square at 3 James Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Visitors are encouraged to use public transportation, since parking is limited.
Plan Your Research Visit
Availability of Materials
No appointment is required to use the library, but because many of our collections are stored off-site and/or have access restrictions, you are advised to check the availability of materials in advance of your visit. Prior arrangements are also required for the use of some materials, such as sound recordings and film or video footage.
We strongly encourage you to search HOLLIS Catalog to get more information about the items you think you will want to use. The catalog records will indicate whether items are stored off-site, restricted, or closed. If the collection(s) in which you are interested are stored off-site and/or restricted, or if you are having difficulty searching the library holdings, please contact us for further assistance.
When You Arrive
All reading room users are required to register upon their first visit and to show one form of photo identification. Reception staff will assign a locker for any bags, cases, or valuables that you bring into the library. Once you have registered, proceed to the second-floor reference desk, where staff will assist you with filling out call slips and finding the materials you need.
Use of the Carol K. Pforzheimer Reading Room
Please read our Library Policies prior to your visit.
All materials are retrieved by staff after a call slip has been submitted. With the exception of reference books, all library materials must be used in the Carol K. Pforzheimer Reading Room. Paging times occur every 30 minutes or sooner beginning at 9:30 a.m. Materials must be returned to the reading room desk 15 minutes prior to closing
You are encouraged to bring a digital camera or camera enabled phone. The library has two cameras for loan. Digital photography is allowed for research purposes. Please read our camera use policy.
Photocopy and photographic reproduction services are available. There is no self-service copying.
Laptop and tablet computers are welcome in the reading room. Electrical outlets and network connections are available at each seat. A wireless network is also available.
The Harvard University Travel Portal provides up-to-date information about area hotels and ground transportation.