Rachel writes: Scan & deliver


If you have a Harvard ID and PIN for online library access, you can take advantage of the “scan & deliver” service. Book chapters or journal articles will be custom-scanned and delivered to you by email.

After you’ve searched for a title in the Hollis catalog, look for the “scan & deliver” link in the lower right of the page (see attached screenshot 1). Click and you will be taken to the “scan & deliver” request page (attached screenshot 2). Complete the information; click on the “submit request” button. When your request is ready, you’ll receive an email with a link to your “electronically received article” (see attached screenshot 3). Click on the PDF icon, and voila: there’s your scanned article or book chapter.

Note the library’s caveats: “Libraries will process two S&D requests per patron per business day. Patrons may request up to one journal article or one book chapter per request. Requests are filled in the order in which they are received, within 1-4 business days. There are no rush orders. Requests are subject to United States copyright regulations.”

“Scan & deliver” is a great way to get access to materials when you are not able to be at the library in person. Obviously, it’s a huge time-saver, even if you live in proximity to Harvard’s libraries.

Remember that you can’t request a scan of an entire book, which would in most cases violate copyright law.

Scan & deliver is a great convenience–even a necessity–for distance students. For Extension students it is especially welcome: because most of us work full-time and have families, finding time to travel to and from the library is often problematic.

Harvard has great libraries, and particularly for those learning at a distance, this service ensures library access even to the far-flung.

Has anyone else used “scan & deliver”? How do you like it? Feel free to comment!


  1. seth b
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Great post! I wouldn’t have known about this otherwise. This service is absolutely amazing, and they turn around the scans very quickly.

    I used this service in conjunction with Google book search and uncovered some great information.

    • Rachel Y., ALM candidate/visual arts
      Posted December 15, 2010 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your comment, and I’m really glad to hear the information in my post was useful.
      Google books–great suggestion to use when you need to confirm page numbers of chapters you request for scanning.
      Hope “scan and deliver” has helped you to have a good semester!

  2. Rachel Y., ALM candidate/visual arts
    Posted December 15, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tweet! Sounds like you work in the amazing Harvard library system—happy to help keep you busy!

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