A message from Thomas Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library.
I am pleased to announce that we will undertake a major renovation of Houghton Library with the goals of modernizing our research and teaching facilities, expanding our exhibition and display capabilities, and improving physical accessibility and visibility. Enhancements will include a new gallery space in Houghton’s lobby to showcase items from the collections; designated areas for quiet study and collaboration in our reading room; and the addition of a graceful new entryway, visitor elevator, expanded restrooms, and other measures that will promote accessibility. To learn more about the renovation, please read the detailed announcement in the Harvard Gazette.
The vision and plans for a more accessible and welcoming Houghton Library have developed over the past several years, in consultation with faculty, students, visiting researchers, architects, security experts, and many others. Over the next two years, Houghton staff will work together to bring to fruition an evolving concept of the library that will provide a more contemporary approach to the excellent research and teaching services on which the Harvard community and visiting scholars rely while maintaining many elements of our classic identity. We anticipate a one-year construction period, to begin in Fall 2019, during which we will continue to provide access to Houghton collections for research and teaching through temporary quarters in Widener Library. Extreme care will be taken to ensure the collections remain protected and secure over the course of the project.
The plans for Houghton align with the commitment by the university, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Harvard Library to provide more inclusive, welcoming spaces for students, faculty, researchers, staff, and visitors from across campus and around the world. This renovation is a key component of a larger group of initiatives that will ensure Houghton becomes an even more active and valuable resource for current and future generations.