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The English Short-Title Catalog (ESTC) lists items published between 1473 and 1800, mainly in English. If an ESTC number is included in the 510 of a bibliographic record but Houghton’s holdings are not already represented, our record should be reported; if an item is eligible for inclusion in ESTC but is not already represented, the bibliographic record may be contributed.

To add a new holding, ask a member of the Rare Book Team for a login and password, then visit the ESTC login page, here. Search (this is easiest by ESTC ID). Select Display Records. Select the record, and verify that it is a match. Select Add Holding. Choose Status: Verified. Complete the form and click on Update. At a minimum, Houghton catalogers should contribute shelfmark, imperfections and important local information. There is not a separate code for the Harvard Theatre Collection in ESTC. Therefore, enter “Harvard Theatre Collection” before the shelfmark where applicable. Additionally, you will find several pages of documentation in the Help section, and can view scans of items in the public interface of the ESTC, under Electronic Location.

To contribute a new item, send an email to with a live link to the HOLLIS record. Optionally, one can provide the necessary bibliographic details described above in the email itself or in an attachment.

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