Countway Library Privileges

Alumni Association

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The Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, one of the largest medical libraries in the world, serves the Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston Medical Library and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

The Library holds more than 630,000 volumes, subscribes to 3,500 current journal titles, and houses over 10,000 non-current biomedical journal titles. The library also houses one of the world's leading medical history collections, and provides access to many electronic information resources.

General Access

Alumni have lifetime on-site access to Countway Library. The Countway Library, including the Rare Books and Special Collections Department, is located in the Longwood Medical Area at 10 Shattuck Street Boston, MA 02115.

The Library is visible from Huntington Avenue between Longwood Avenue and Francis Street. The Countway entrance is at the end of Shattuck Street, which runs parallel to Francis Street behind the Brigham and Women's Hospital (see map).

Please click here to view hours and holiday calendar.

Alumni wishing to visit Countway, but who do not require borrowing privileges, should contact the Privileges Desk at circinfo@hms.harvard.edu or (617) 432-2136 to make arrangements for a pass.

Borrowing Privileges

Alumni of the Harvard Medical School may apply for borrowing privileges by completing the Special Borrower Card Application form. This form can also be picked up at the Countway Circulation Desk.

The completed form should be brought to the Countway Circulation Desk together with the $15 application fee or the $5 renewal fee, where a photo will be taken of the borrower. Applicants must show government-issued photo ID as proof of identity when having their photo taken. In general, IDs take about a week to be processed and are then held for pick-up at the circulation desk. Items cannot be borrowed until the ID is processed and picked up (access passes are available to those without access to the library until IDs are ready).

The following policies apply to borrowed materials:

  • Books circulate for 4 weeks and may be renewed up to 5 times (books should be renewed online whenever possible; see: Book Renewals)
  • Fines for overdue regular (28-day) loan materials accumulate at $0.50 a day per book
  • Fines for overdue reserve materials accumulate at $1.00 per hour per book
  • Recall fines accumulate at the rate of $2.00/day from the adjusted due date.
  • JOURNALS and PRE-1920 materials do not circulate
  • All circulating materials are subject to recall which shortens the original due date. Minimum borrowing period is 14 days. The Library is not responsible for non-receipt of recall and other library notices.

Remote Access to Electronic Resources

We regret that we are unable to provide HMS alumni with remote access to electronic resources at this time.

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