2/24/2022: The Botany Libraries welcomes back all visitors to the reading room beginning Monday Feb. 28, 2022. Non Harvard ID holders will need to call 617-495-2366 upon arrival into the Herbarium lobby for access to the second floor. All visitors will need to follow the Harvard Library Visitor Access COVID-19 Guidance.



  • Reference assistance is available via phone, email, or in-person in the reading room. For in depth inquiries, you may want to make an appointment with the reference librarian.
  • Email and phone inquiries will be answered as soon as possible. We welcome questions from all researchers; however, priority attention will be given to questions from Harvard affiliates.


Access to Resources

  • Public workstations in the reading rooms allow patrons to access all Harvard licensed digital resources. Users may download materials to thumb drives.
  • Access to Harvard's WIFI network for Harvard students, staff, and visitors
  • Printed materials, including new books and journals, may be accessed while visiting.  Requests for materials located in the stacks should be made via HOLLIS Special Request.  Archival collections are available by appointment only


Physical Space

  • Quiet study space is available. Group study space is limited; please contact us before planning a group visit. Our main reading room is accessible to people using mobility aids. Single stall restrooms are available.


Photoduplication (published, non-archival materials)

  • A photocopier with scanning capabilities is available in the main reading room. Users may scan materials to thumb drives or have the scans emailed to them by library personnel. Self-service scanning of archival materials and rare books is not permitted.
  • Requests for scans should be made via HOLLIS Special Request. All scanning requests will be evaluated using Harvard Library’s general reproduction policies.
  • No items will be scanned if library staff determines that the item would be damaged by scanning.



  • The Botany Libraries' archival collections are available only by appointment with the Archivist.  Please allow one week for requests for information and appointments to be processed.
  • The Archivist will supply researchers with appropriate permissions forms and coordinate requests for images. Fees may apply. Self-service scanning of archival materials is not permitted.
  • Please see the Archives page for additional information on using the archival collections.


Special Requests


Please submit all inquiries to the Botany Libraries (