I'm a Harvard graduate living abroad. I need access to e-resources, could I buy access from Harvard or any other university?

Access via Harvard

It is not possible for us to sell access to our databases, as our contracts with most database and e-resource vendors strictly limit remote access to current affiliates. We have, however, licensed access especially for alums to a selection of databases, including some JSTOR and EBSCO content. See the Alumni e-resources page of the library website for more information.


Your Local Access Options

You may have access to databases, borrowing, and interlibrary loan services via a library near you. Public libraries, university libraries, and national libraries all provide e-resources to their patrons, and many provide access options for local residents or for researchers working on a specific project.


Open Access Options

Additionally, there is a great deal of material freely available online via Open Access publishing or because the material is in the public domain. The Alumni e-resources page lists several top open-access options. Please note that local copyright laws determine the public domain, and your access may be different from that of someone with a US-based ip address. (You might consult a local library for more information about how to find OA and public domain material online in the country where you're located.)


How We Can Help

Harvard librarians can answer questions about material in our collections or provide very general research strategy suggestions. It is usually quite difficult for us to determine your local access options, and it is illegal for us to send you PDFs of copyright-protected material.

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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Chat is intended for brief inquiries from the Harvard community.


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.