We just discovered the weirdest mailing lists at Harvard, and we’ve been digging around for more strange Harvard-related web content. Of course, HOLLIS saved the day—as it so often does with our frantic last-minute paper research. The guides tab on the HOLLIS website reveals a few hundreds of research guides, with some hidden gems. They certainly make us wonder who wrote them—or who even uses them.

Canadian Official Publications

In addition to colder weather and better maple syrup, our northern neighbors get a guide to their official publications. We spent a while wondering what that might entail—dissertations on ice hockey? Studies about why Niagara Falls looks better from Canada? Research papers on why Canadians say sorry like they do? It turns out that Harvard is a depository for... Canadian governmental documents? Bet you didn’t see that one coming. If you ever feel like your American government classes just aren’t cutting it and you just have to know what it’s like to have a Prime Minister (shoutout to hottie Justin Trudeau), Harvard has you covered.


“What is smell?” Probably that funky thing emanating from the piles of unwashed clothes in your room, but we won’t judge (although your roommates will). For some reason, it has a section called ‘Scents and Sensibility’—okay, that’s actually a brilliant pun. We’ll give them that. But for some reason, it begins with this acid-trip picture…

acid mice
Someone needs to check on these mice.

The Joy of Cooking

Somewhere between Sex Work and Violence Against Women is this friendly, unassuming guide. What are its contents, you ask? Ah, the question on all of our minds. This guide has all the editions of a 1930s cookbook of the same name.

That’s it. That’s all it has. Thanks, we guess?

Gromphadorhina portentosa

What’s this weird-sounding guide about? That’s so interesting, let’s take a little peek at—they’re so big and terrifying send help!


Seriously, HOLLIS? We avoided clicking on the guide titled ‘Cockroaches’ for a reason, but it’s listed again by the scientific name. What kind of sick conman would do something like this? We were getting along so well. In fact, this entire guide is an affront. Cockroaches “are often quite attractive”? We’d like to meet the cockroaches they’re seeing. On second thought, we’d like to never see cockroaches again. Whoever wrote this can let these “symbols of love” know what we think of them. “Mostly harmless”? Yeah, right. Tell us how to kill them instead.