BorrowDirect (Borrow Direct)

How do I get a copy of a book Harvard Library doesn't have?

When looking for a book, DVD, or music score you can't find at Harvard Library, your first step should be BorrowDirect. If the material you need is available from another participating institution, this is the fastest way to get it through the library.  

See our BorrowDirect page for what exactly can be requested, turnaround times and other details. Material not eligible for BD can be requested via Interlibrary Loan.

  • Search the upgraded BorrowDirect catalog (HarvardKey required) to see if the material is available from one of our BD partners.
  • Once you find the item you want, click on the blue “Request” button. This will open a “BorrowDirect-Interlibrary Loan-Scan & Deliver” form. Complete the form and submit your request.


  • Tips and tricks for searching the new catalog have been made available by BorrowDirect.
  • Electronic versions of these materials are not available through Borrow Direct.
  • If the item you’re looking for isn’t eligible for BorrowDirect, the BorrowDirect catalog doesn't have the item you're looking for, or if for some reason you're unable to get to the form, your next step is an Interlibrary Loan request instead.

If your BorrowDirect request for some reason cannot be filled, the Resource Sharing staff will use the same request form to try to locate the material in another way.

Once the request arrives at Harvard and has been processed, it will appear in your "My HOLLIS" account. There, you can track your request as it is routed to the pickup location you requested.

When you're finished you can return the book to any Harvard Library. Once the item is returned and processed, it will no longer be on your HOLLIS account, but it will remain in the history in your Interlibrary Loan account for some time.

Please contact the Harvard Library Resource Sharing staff with further questions.



Service Alert:
  • Ask a Librarian, including chat and email, will be suspended from Saturday, May 26 through Monday May 28, in observance of Memorial Day. Questions received during this period will be answered beginning Tuesday, May 28, 2023.
  • If you're experiencing an ongoing technical issue when you attempt to access library materials with your HarvardKey during these times, please report it to Library Technology Services.



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Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

These services are intended primarily for Harvard University faculty, staff and students. If you are not affiliated with Harvard, please use these services only to request information about the Library and its collections.