Creating copies of library materials as a preservation strategy

Library materials are reproduced for several reasons: to provide back-up copies of items showing obvious signs of deterioration, to replace those that have become too fragile to use, to reduce wear and tear on items that are rare or unique, and to extend access to Harvard's collections beyond the University. Since the beginning of recorded history, copying has been vital to the survival of information.

Requesting Reproductions of Library Materials

Our Patron Services group is happy to answer any questions you may have about the ordering process. 

Requests for digital and print reproductions of Harvard Library materials may be submitted through HOLLIS Special Request. Making an order requires the creation of a user account. Click here for instructions on how to order reproductions.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact our Patron Services group via email at, or by telephone at 617-495-3995, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Collections Reformatting Services for Harvard Libraries

Harvard libraries considering reformatting projects should complete the Digital Project Inquiry Form to initiate the process of receiving planning assistance and cost estimates. Following submission of the form, the library will be contacted by an adviser from Imaging Services, or when appropriate, the Weissman Preservation Center.

Additional information and a sample of materials may be requested for developing project specifications and pricing. Pricing for reformatting is project specific. Fees are designed to recover projected staff and equipment costs.

Harvard repositories: Consult our collection digitization service categories for project pricing.

Note that as of 2019, Imaging Services has a high-speed document scanning service.


Beyond scanning and digital photography services, the department also offers:

Inquiries for the reproductions of items for library patrons or for other library uses, such as single preservation copies, or exhibition prints, should be submitted through your Harvard Library Special Collections Request account.


Contact Us

Imaging Services

Widener Library, Room G-81
Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138

Tel: 617-495-3995 |
Hours (business office): 10:00am–2:00pm, M–F
Hours (phone & email): 9:00am - 5:00pm, M-F