Answered By: Susan Halpert
Last Updated: Apr 03, 2017     Views: 12

 You will be most welcome as a reader here at Houghton Library, and we'll be glad to make material from the Harvard Theatre Collection available to you. You do not need to make an appointment or provide letters of reference to read here.  When material is  kept on site, it takes about ten or twenty minutes to call it up from our stacks. We page throughout the day on demand until half-an-hour before closing time. We will show you how to request this material when you arrive.

If the material is in remote storage, it takes one working-day to bring it back from the depository. Collections in remote storage are given the location "Offsite Storage" or "Harvard Depository" in the HOLLIS Catalogue, and we can recall no more than six boxes per reader per day. Please include a "scheduled date" on your form when you request material from offsite. If you will be here for several days, we can help you make these requests when you arrive; if not, we'll be happy to assist you with offsite requests before your visit. (See our contact info below.)

We suggest that you read our Harvard Theatre Collection: Guide for Researchers.

This guide is also available in the Houghton Reading Room, but can be useful to get an idea in advance of the kinds of searches that are possible here, especially for ephemeral material.

All readers must register at

Please  be sure to bring a photo ID with a birth date, such as a driver's license or passport, to present when you pick up your reader's card at the Library Privileges Office next door in Widener Library just before you come to Houghton. This process takes only a few minutes, and is required for entry to the library. If you are going to begin work between 9 AM and noon on Saturday morning, when the Library Privileges office is closed, come straight to Houghton Library instead. 

***Please note that we will be closed for staff training from 9 AM to noon on Friday, May 12th, and all day on Thursday, May 25th, Harvard Commencement.***

Our regular hours are Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 AM to 7 PM. For directions to Houghton Library, holiday closing times, and other exceptions to regular hours, please see our website.

We  allow readers to take digital photos subject to the conditions on our Digital Camera Policy.

If you want high-quality photographs for publication, or wish to have Imaging Services make reference photos for you, please see our photoduplication instructions

Other Harvard libraries have various access policies, so it's best to check the Harvard Libraries website as well as our own if you wish to use Widener Library or other Harvard libraries during your visit here.

We look forward to your visit.


TEL: (617)495-2440
FAX: (617)495-1376


Department of Public Services
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA