The Harvard University Archives grants access to its collections subject to University policies and donor restrictions. Permission to publish from Archives collections requires separate application.

Permission for Access to Collections

Access to Archives' collections may require special permission.

  • University policy restricts access to University administrative records for a period of 50 years from the date of their creation.  University records pertaining to individuals, including student and employee records, are closed for a minimum of 80 years.
  • Archives of student, alumni, and other associated organizations are subject to the same restrictions on access.
  • Records in general distribution at their time of creation are usually open without restriction. These include announcements, official University publications, calendars, brochures, and public reports.
  • Personal archives of faculty, administrators, students and alumni/ae may be subject to restrictions placed by the donor.

For questions about access to specific collections, please contact the Archives reference staff.

Permission to Publish from Collections

The publication of direct quotations, excerpts, and images from Archives' collections requires the permission of the University Archivist. Please send requests for permission to publish to Please be sure to submit permission requests well in advance of publication date, as it may take several weeks for a response to be sent.

Requests must include the following information:

  • copies of relevant sections of the manuscript, with quotes or excerpts highlighted, and/or copies of images;
  • complete citations for the original materials, including the name of the collection, title/description/date of the item, folder title, call number, and box number (if applicable);
  • title of the publication in which the material will appear;
  • name of the publisher; and
  • anticipated date of publication.


For more information about copyright and unpublished material, see the FAQs provided by the Society of American Archivists.

Citing Archives' Material: Examples


University records


Harvard University. Records of President Abbott Lawrence Lowell. Grounds of University: Committee on Plan. Letter to Guy Lowell, Oct. 28, 1924. UAI 5.160, Series 1922‐1925, Folder 467, Box 199. Harvard University Archives.


Student diary


Brown, Lloyd T. Diary, 1899. Entry for January 15, 1899. HUD 899.9. Harvard University Archives.


Faculty papers


Buttrick, George Arthur. Papers of George Arthur Buttrick. Letter to Agnes Gardner, Dec. 15, 1915. HUGFP 90.35, Family and Personal Papers, ca. 1910‐1979, Box 2. Harvard University Archives.




Harvard University Archives, HUPSF Baseball (32b).