This page provides basic guidance for users of the Reading web site. Please consult our Building the Collections page for an overview of the selection processes and digitization practices routinely used by OCP. If you have additional questions about the collection or its contents, please contact the Open Collections Program.
Usage policies are stated on the Permissions and Copyright page.
The Reading site has been optimized for display on a monitor with a minimum resolution of 1024x768.
The buttons on the left side of the screen link to overviews of the site’s key topics and to the Collection Highlights. Topic pages contain links to selected subsets of all items in the collection; Collection Highlights pages contain links to single representative items.
Use the navigation bar at the head of each page to search and/or browse the collection in detail; to view a list of contributors to the collection; and to obtain information on permissions and copyright, citing Internet sources, and linking to Reading texts and images.
We offer two ways to search the Reading site:
Use Catalog Search to find items related to a specific term or phrase in the "virtual collection" catalog records that describe the books, manuscripts, and archives digitized by the Open Collections Program. Be sure to use the "Display Full Record" option to view all descriptive information for the digitized work.
Tips on searching are available in the Virtual Collections User Guide.
Use Full-Text Search to search the Optical Character Recognition (OCR)-generated text for the published works in Reading. Full-Text Search does not include a search of the data in the catalog records. Note also that OCR-generated text was not corrected; nor were any of the handwritten items in Reading transcribed. So there is no guarantee that a full-text query will return all instances of a term or phrase in the collection.
Tips on full-text searching are available in the PDS User Guide. (See section "Navigating a PDS Document.")
The Reading Browse functions, with a mouse click, retrieve all items in the collection belonging to a common topic or genre, language, or date.
Viewing and Navigating a Text
Multi-page texts are displayed by the Harvard University Library’s Page Delivery Service. For more information on viewing, navigating, and printing from this application, see the PDS User Guide.
Downloading and Printing Digitized Materials
To download pages or portions of pages (e.g., images), use the "Save" feature available in your web browser. To print pages of a digitized document from the Page Delivery Service, select the "Printable Version" link located in the red menu across the top of the page. This will give you the option of creating a printable PDF version of the page, of a specified page sequence, or of the entire document.
Prompted to Log In to Access a Text
In some cases, full-record displays of catalog records will contain links to multiple electronic versions of a work. (This is particularly true for published texts.) If you are using a workstation outside of Harvard University and are prompted to log in to the Harvard University PIN Authentication System, go back to the search results and click on a different link—look for "nrs.harvard.edu" in the URL—to access the publicly available, "open" version digitized by OCP.