Core Collection

In support of research, teaching and learning at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), the Library collects and circulates current materials in traditional and new areas of scholarship with particular vigor and timeliness. Subject areas collected at an instructional support and research level include: public administration; political institutions; policy analysis; nonprofit sector policy and management; U.S. federal, state and local government; U.S. politics and elections; public finance; economic policy; economic development; international development; sustainable development; environmental policy; environmental economics; climate science and policy; energy and energy policy; international relations; international security; human rights; defense policy; judgment and decision making; public leadership; housing policy; urban policy; health policy; social policy; crisis management; political and professional ethics; science and technology policy; media studies and journalism.

Our collection is located on the ground floor of the HKS Littauer Building and at the Harvard Depository. It is searchable in HOLLIS+ and is supplemented by collections at the University’s other libraries as well as by electronic resources available at E-Research @ Harvard Libraries.


We subscribe to a selection of current affairs journals and magazines in print for in Library browsing and reading purposes. We also provide access to thousands of scholarly electronic journals available at E-Journals @ Harvard Libraries.


General and subject-specific reference works, including statistics, encyclopedias, handbooks, and directories are available for use in the Library. Many of the resources in our reference collection are also available online via HOLLIS+.


We provide a robust reserves service, collecting and providing access to online course materials, books, and videos in support of the curriculum.

Dissertations and Student Papers

HKS doctoral dissertations along with Policy Analysis Exercises (PAEs) and Second Year Policy Analysis Papers (SYPAs) are collected in print. Dissertations from 1990 onward are also available online in Dissertations and Theses Full-Text.


Our video collection consists primarily of commercially produced films and documentaries on topics related to public policy and global affairs.


The Library collects and preserves select administrative, curricular, and scholarly output of the Harvard Kennedy School.


We welcome recommendations for additions to the Library’s book, journal or database collections.