Houghton Library, Harvard College / Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


Houghton Library;Harvard University;Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Phone: 617.495.2441 ;Fax Line: 617.495.1376 ;Email: houghref@fas.harvard.edu ;;Manuscript Department:;Phone: 617-495-2449;Facsimile: 617-495-1376;Email: Houghton_Manuscripts@harvard.edu

http://hcl.harvard.edu/houghton/;Manuscript Department: http://hcl.harvard.edu/houghton/departments/msdept/manuscript.html


The Houghton Library is the principal rare book and manuscript library of Harvard College. Through the generosity of Arthur A. Houghton, Jr., Harvard Class of 1929, Harvard became the first American university to construct a separate research facility for the housing and study of rare books and manuscripts. The Boston architectural firm of Perry, Shaw, and Hepburn designed a classic neo-Georgian building, incorporating what was then state-of-the-art technology for climate control, air filtration, security, and the shelving of materials. The Houghton Library, dedicated and opened in 1942, won major architectural awards and became a model for other such research libraries.

The holdings of the Manuscript Department consist of all subjects and periods, with an emphasis on Western languages and cultures. Major collections include: papyri; early and illuminated manuscripts; literary manuscripts, particularly American, British, and Continental authors; historical archives, including strengths in publishing history, politics, and missionary archives; philosophy and music; Arabic, Indic, Persian, and Syriac manuscripts; photographs, drawings, and paintings; and artifacts.

Last update April 28, 2022