Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does interoffice mail take?

Delivery of interoffice mail should take no longer than one business day.  If your mail has taken longer, please call 496.MAIL (6245) or email hums@harvard.edu.

Is there a special format for an interoffice address?

The format is not strict but should include the name of a department, program, or school, and a street address or building name.

Do you deliver interoffice mail to every Harvard affiliate, domestic and foreign?

Any Harvard affiliate in Cambridge, Allston, or the Longwood Medical Area may participate in the interoffice mail system.  We do not deliver interoffice mailings to affiliates in remote locations such as Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington D.C., or Villa I Tatti, near Florence, Italy.

Is there a charge for interoffice bulk mailings?

Yes there is a charge for mailings that exceed interoffice limits.  For current rates and more information, please e-mail hums@harvard.edu.

Do you provide interoffice envelopes on request?

We keep an inventory of interoffice envelopes on hand and can provide them to departments on request. We will also pick up excess interoffice envelopes and will make sure that they are reused. If you require interoffice envelopes or would like a supply removed please contact us at hums@harvard.edu, or 496-MAIL (6245).

I’ve just sent one or more pieces by interoffice mail, and realize that I want them back before delivery.  Can you retrieve them?

If you wish to prevent delivery of interoffice mail that you have already sent, please phone us as soon as possible after pick-up, at 496.MAIL (6245).

Can packages be sent through the interoffice system?

Yes.  Please notify us at 496.MAIL (6245) or hums@harvard.edu if your department plans to send packages over two pounds through interoffice mail, without signature confirmation. If you require on-call package delivery with signature confirmation, please see our courier service.

I’m planning on sending a mailing to the Harvard Community at their office addresses.  What do I need to do?

Harvard University mailing lists are supplied from several separate departments.  Mailing lists must be individually requested for each project.  We do not own any University mailing list, but can assist with contacts to request them.  Please contact us with your inquiry at hums@harvard.edu.

Do you deliver all the incoming U.S. Mail to Harvard schools and departments?

We deliver U.S. Mail to the vast majority of Harvard’s schools and departments in Cambridge.  USPS delivers directly to Longwood Medical Area, most Harvard addresses in Allston, and a small number in Cambridge.

Do you offer metering service?

We meter every class of U.S. Mail, both domestic and international. We ask, however, that the sender fill out customs forms for international parcels over 1 lb., since we will not know the contents of the pieces given to us for metering.  Customs forms and other mailing materials can be ordered online at www.usps.com.

For current rates and more information, please email hums@harvard.edu.

I have a mailing with a First Class, Non-profit, or Presorted Standard permit imprint already printed in the corner; can I drop it in a mail box?

No, the only permit imprint that can be directly dropped in a mail box is a Business Reply Mail permit.  A bulk mail permit is used when presort work is done ahead of time and delivered to the U.S. Postal Service as a single mailing.  For more information please contact us at: hums@harvard.edu.

What discounted mail options do you provide?

We provide discounted mailing for First Class, Non-Profit and Presorted Standard mail. For more information, please contact us at hums@harvard.edu.

I have a large mailing to go overseas; is my only option to send through the U.S. Post Office?

We have alternative options for sending bulk mail internationally. Please contact us for more details at hums@harvard.edu.

Is it okay to hand-write my addresses?

Currently yes, although HUMS and the post office highly recommend that addresses be laser printed or typed at no less than 8 point type.  This helps with processing and will increase the speed and accuracy of mail delivery. 

Do you manage all the mail centers on campus?

We manage the mail centers at Harvard Divinity School, Center for Government and International Studies, William James Hall, the GSAS Residence Halls (Perkins Hall), The Undergraduate House Mail Centers and the Science Center.  Other mail centers are independently managed. 

Do you provide a courier service?

Our courier service makes separate deliveries of boxes, packages, and documents between any two points on the Cambridge and Allston campuses, with signature confirmation.  (In most cases we can also deliver to the Longwood Medical area or off-campus by arranging in advance.)  Rates vary depending on parcel size and destination. Please contact us at hums@harvard.edu for more information.

My office needs to send documents or packages through commercial carriers (FedEx, UPS, Airborne, DHL, etc.).  Do you arrange to have these picked up and delivered, and obtain a lower rate for us?

Pickups and deliveries through private carriers are arranged by the individual senders.  However, we can offer advice on shipping strategies and alternatives.

Does Harvard have print solutions?

Yes.  We have a range of color and black & white print options.  We can print business cards, envelopes, letterhead, pamphlets, posters, etc.  If you have a specific need please contact us at hums@harvard.edu

Do you forward mail?

We forward first-class mail to domestic and international addresses for the residents of the Undergraduate Houses, Harvard Yard, GSAS Residence Halls, and Vanderbilt Hall.  Residents of these buildings can change their forwarding address as often as needed on our online form. This service does not include magazines, periodicals, UPS or FedEx. University Mail will be sent back to the sender with the student’s forwarding address attached.  Individual offices or departments may then affix proper postage.

Please contact hums@harvard.edu for answers to specific questions about forwarding from other Harvard addresses. 

Are you open on Saturdays?

Our office is open Mon.-Fri., 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We do, however, receive and deliver U.S. mail on Saturdays by request.  Please email hums@harvard.edu  or phone 496.MAIL (6245) for more information.