In-Library Consultation and Loan Policies

Library materials of all kinds must be consulted only onsite and are never to be removed from the main complex of the Library, studies or reading areas, and Villa. The library administration will make no exceptions to this rule and patrons found to have violated it may have their privileges suspended.

BookshelvesOnsite, certain materials may be reserved and held or checked out for consultation for varying lengths of time. It is unnecessary to check out items intended to be consulted briefly, but all materials that are required for several hours or longer must be checked out following the procedures described below.

Please note that Berenson Library patrons may not request physical items from other Harvard libraries or the Depository directly through the online services in the HOLLIS catalogs, even if the option is available to authenticated Harvard ID holders (using the buttons "Request" or "Request item").  If you have a Harvard ID, click here to learn about electronic document delivery or inter-library loan options.  

Procedures for current I Tatti appointees

Current I Tatti appointees may borrow books, periodicals, and some other materials for use in their assigned studies or library carrels for designated lengths of time (see loan periods below). Any item that is taken from the shelves for use in a carrel or study must be checked out properly. Appointees may register items for consultation by using the self-checkout system located in the vestibule in front of the Reference Room. If the self-checkout is momentarily unavailable, during public opening hours the Reference librarian will handle the transaction; outside of public hours, leave the volumes at the Reference desk for processing the next business day. Charge slips from the self-checkout machine or Reference desk should be be kept in the volume for the duration of use with the top part of the slip clearly visible.

To ensure that books and periodicals circulate widely, Appointees are encouraged to hold no more than thirty items in consultation at any given time. The library staff will periodically send email reminders to those whose checked-out library items exceed this limit, and may remove excess items from carrels and studies. 

Current I Tatti appointees and other Harvard ID holders may renew items through one of the HOLLIS catalogs by clicking on the My Account / Renew button at the top of every page and following the instructions for renewal.

To recall items out in consultation to another reader, or to have an item placed on hold once it is returned, Appointees may place requests at the Public Services desk, by telephone at 055.603251 ext. 27, or by email by clicking here. Appointees who have the item in consultation will be notified of a recall by email and must return recalled items within 2 days. The requester will be notified of returns by email and the materials will be deposited on the Hold Shelf for 7 days. For urgent requests, the library staff may retrieve items directly from Appointees' carrels or studies. 

Overdue items are not subject to fines, but if after repeated overdue notices the item is not returned, it will be declared lost and the person to whom the item was registered in consultation will be held liable for replacement and handling charges of a minimum of €100. 

Items to be discharged should be returned to the appropriate book cart according to its Library of Congress classification or other designation on the cart.

Procedures for other library patrons

All library patrons may reserve books and periodicals to be held for consultation within the library for specified lengths of time (see loan periods below). Patrons may register volumes for consultation by using the self-checkout system located in the vestibule in front of the Reference Room. If the self-checkout is momentarily unavailable, during public opening hours the Reference librarian will handle the transaction; outside of public hours (current and former Appointees only), leave the volumes at the Reference desk for processing the next business day. 

Charge slips from the self-checkout machine or from the Reference desk should be inserted into the volume with the top part of the slip clearly visible. For ongoing use, items in consultation should be placed on the Hold Shelf outside the Reference room.

Items no longer needed should be placed for discharge on the appropriate book cart according to its Library of Congress classification or other designation on the cart.

To renew, recall, or place holds on items in consultation, patrons without a current Harvard University ID must place a request in person at the Public Services desk, by telephone at 055.603251 ext. 27, or by email by clicking here. Patrons who have the item in consultation will be notified of a recall by email and must return recalled items within 2 days. The requester will be notified of returns by email and the materials will be deposited on the Hold Shelf for 7 days. For urgent requests, the library staff may retrieve items directly from Appointees' carrels or studies or from the Hold Shelf.

Overdue items are not subject to fines, but if after repeated overdue notices the item is not returned, it will be declared lost and the person to whom the item was registered in consultation will be held liable for replacement and handling charges of a minimum of €100. 

In-library consultation periods

  • Regular loan (current I Tatti appointees) - 4 months
  • Regular loan (non-Harvard affiliated patrons) - 28 days 
  • 7 day loan – all patrons (Periodicals, Asian and Islamic Collection, Recording Collection) 
  • In-library use – all patrons (Reference – must be consulted in the Reference Room)

For the library's policies on the consultation of materials from Special Collections, click here.