Baker Library Special Collections maintains numerous tools to assist users with locating books, serials, archival and manuscript collections, and other materials in our holdings. Please contact Special Collections reference staff for more information on using items you discover or to ask for assistance if you are unable to locate materials of interest to your research topic.


Special Collections materials are cataloged and searchable through various catalogs and databases (HUID/PIN login may be required to view certain materials). Information on our collections is available here.

HOLLIS Catalog

The HOLLIS catalog searches most library resources in a single unified system, including books, articles, media and more. Once you start typing a word in the search box, you can limit to "Library Catalog" and Location "Baker Business." Search results can be further refined by date, material type (book, archives/manuscript), etc. Select "Online" from the Show Only dropdown in the right hand navigation to return results for material available digitally (some content may be accessible to current Harvard students, faculty, and staff only).

HOLLIS for Archival Discovery

Manuscript and archival collections have a finding aid, or collection inventory, that provides more detailed information about the organization and contents of a collection. Collections vary in size from one volume to hundreds of boxes and finding aids helps users narrow down the portions of the collection that are relevant to their project.

A majority, but not all, of our collections have online finding aids and are searchable in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery (though all collections open and available for research are cataloged in HOLLIS). You can search for specific Baker Library Special Collections finding aids here or browse all of our finding aids available in the system here.

HOLLIS Special Request

Request materials for use onsite in Special Collections’ de Gaspé Beaubien Reading Room or order reproductions through HOLLIS Special Request. The first time you use the system you will be prompted to create an account. You do not need a Harvard ID to register or request Special Collections material. Your account allows you to track your current and past requests. You can also create draft requests and save them until you are ready to visit the library to view materials. 

In order to submit a request for materials from our collections, click the View in Library link found under Get It in the HOLLIS record and select Place Request on the next screen. Users will be prompted to log in to HOLLIS Special Request.

In HOLLIS for Archival Discovery you can request specific material from archives and manuscript collections by clicking the Add to my Request List button in the Collection Overview or Collection Inventory tabs and submitting the information from My Request List found under the Request tab in the upper right hand corner of the site. Requests are not submitted until you have logged in to your HOLLIS Special Request account. 


Special Collections holds a rich collection of photographs, prints, engravings, trade cards and other images. A growing number (but not all) of these visual images have been digitized for online searching through HOLLIS Images, Harvard Library's dedicated image catalog (A HU PIN is required to view some full size images).

Search results can be refined by Date, Subject, and Form/Genre.


A Web Guide to Photograph Collections

Special Collections photographic collections hold more than 33,000 images of factories, equipment, techniques, processes, and people at work in industrial settings. Researchers will find photographs relating to U.S. industry as well as business operations in Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, dating from 1855 to the present, including daguerreotypes and stereographs. This guide introduces the major photographic collections.

The Lehman Brothers Collection 

Part of the Contemporary Archives within Special Collections, the Lehman Brothers Collection, 1868-2007, is a major resource for studying business trends through the lens of investment banking. The archive provides rare access to twentieth-century corporate archives pertaining to business transactions, retail development, globalizing markets, mergers and acquisitions, corporate growth, and the reshaping of American business.

Women, Enterprise and Society: A Guide to Resources in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library

Produced in 1999, this guide identifies materials in the Special Collections Business Manuscripts Collection that document women's participation in American business and culture from the eighteenth through the twentieth century. Direct links to corresponding catalog records are included with each collection description.

Sunk in Lucre's Sordid Charms: South Sea Bubble Resources in the Kress Collection at Baker Library

A complex network of intersecting financial, legal, political, and cultural factors all contributed to the development of the South Sea Bubble, the eventual collapse of the South Sea Company in 1720, and the financial ruin left in its wake. The South Sea Bubble was one of the first speculative bubbles. This guide provides contextual information about the South Sea Bubble, a detailed index of the South Sea Bubble Collection at Baker Library Special Collections, and links to available digital content.