In Defense of Hollis

I read and use books all the time.  Sometimes I find books for pleasure; most often I find books to support students and faculty in their research.

I have several paths to the book. There’s Amazon recommendations, Good Reads and Library Thing.  For full-texty search, there’s Google Books.  Side note on Google Books: It can be really great and it can be really frustrating depending on your ability to navigate advanced search features – and on your luck.

My number one favorite path to the book is the Harvard catalog:  HOLLIS.

Hollis and I spend a lot of great time together.  Just today, with Hollis, I found helpful books on legal realism, international securities transactions, constitutional law, and Lady Gaga.

One of the best things about Hollis is that you can find legal treatises.  Treatises provide a highly organized analysis and synthesis of the law on a particular legal subject (i.e., bankruptcy, immigration or tax).  Treatises are great for learning an area of law generally, or for answering specific questions like how to file a class action lawsuit.

If you like to find and read books from home, try narrowing your Hollis search to only online materials.  Here’s an online treatise on international family law.  And, here’s an e-book on day trading options.

For those of you who are only looking for parts of books, and are unmotivated to visit us in the library, you may want to make use of Scan & Deliver.  This great service allows you to order up book chapters (within reason) and have them sent as PDF to your email!

If you decide to actually physically come grab a book, I recommend you check Hollis to see about availability and location – including whether an item is at the Harvard Depository (HD).  HD is where many of the books live.  Recalling books from HD is pretty sweet, because they almost always arrive within a day to the HLS Library Circulation Desk.

Hollis has a ton of amazing features.  Some of my favorite things to do include:

  • Renew materials online
  • Export citation info to Refworks
  • Build bibliographies
  • Twitter/Text/Email records
  • Link out to Google Books

And if Hollis doesn’t have what you need, check out how to access the catalogs of other great libraries through Borrow Direct.

For help with Hollis or any HLS Library tool or service, call, email, text, come by: Ask a Librarian!

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