Individuals conducting research for Harvard faculty members are eligible to receive a Research Assistant account. These accounts are proxies under the sponsoring faculty's library account. They give full access to Harvard Library resources.

The faculty sponsor assumes full responsibility for all fines, fees, and other liabilities incurred through the use of these privileges. All correspondence related to library use goes to the sponsor, not the assistant.

Countway can make accounts for faculty of the following schools:

  • Harvard Medical School (HMS)
  • Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM)
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School (HSPH)

For other schools, please contact the Harvard Library Privileges Office.

Procedure for New Applicants

  • Download the application
  • Complete the form in its entirety and sign (both sponsor and researcher)
  • Bring the application and a government-issued ID to the front desk on a weekday between 8:00am and 3:30pm

We will process the application and explain activation. We will also be happy to explain how to use our resources and answer any of your questions. Cards are valid for one year after issue. Please email with inquiries.

Temporary Procedure for Renewals

The university has mandated that all active Research Assistants be given a new account with a new Harvard ID number. In this process old accounts will be deactivated.

This means the procedure will be different for the first renewal under this new policy. To renew:

  • Download the application
  • Complete the form in its entirety and sign (both sponsor and researcher)
  • Scan the completed document and email it to
  • Create a new HarvardKey once you receive your new ID number
  • Visit Countway Library and the ID Office (open weekdays 8am-4pm) to verify your identity and receive a new ID

The university mandates that all accounts be verified by government-issued photo ID and that a photo of the person be taken. We understand that will be a burden for some Research Assistants. To ease this burden, we will activate the new account for 14 days once we receive the application. When the Research Assistant visits the campus and completes the process we will extend it for the rest of the year.

If the process is not finished after 14 days, the account will expire until the process is complete.

Future renewals will not require a visit to the library or ID office.

Both sponsor and researcher must be the same person for it to be a renewal. Any change requires the procedure for new applicants.