Houghton Library opened in February, 1942, to serve as the principal repository for Harvard Library‘s rare books and manuscripts. In the last seven decades it has become a destination for researchers from all over the world who come to study Houghton’s collections, which range from the ancient to contemporary and which have expanded to include archival materials, two- and three-dimensional art, photographs, and ephemera. Houghton plays an important role in the teaching life of the university and beyond by enabling faculty from Harvard and other area institutions to teach using our wealth of primary sources. We have a robust program of exhibitions and events, and offer fellowship opportunities for students, visiting and resident scholars, and artists and writers.
Houghton Library has maintained an active blog since 2009. Early posts focused on interesting material discovered by Houghton staff in the course of their cataloging and processing work, and alerted readers to collections that had been made available for research. Over time, the blog has evolved to give staff, student workers, and visiting researchers an outlet for sharing aspects of their work with the collections, whether behind the scenes, in the stacks, or in the reading room.