Harvard Library Annual Report FY 2013

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Annual Report

FY 2013

Research Support

FY 2013

733,890 items circulated

131,041 reference questions answered

John Dewey: A Philosopher of Education for Our Time? (Richard Pring): most circulated book

20,0000 visiting researchers supported

1,700 instruction sessions

42 million images viewed

1.7 million works downloaded from harvard's Open Access Repository

47,000 Scan & Deliver requests fulfilled; 48,700 interlibrary loan requests fulfilled

55,176 hours open

1.9 million Library Portal visits


FY 2013

18.9 million volumes held

1 million digitized volumes; 13 million monographs; 500 research databases

1 million e-books

4 bikes

1 pop-up space

5.4 terabytes of born-digital electronic archives and manuscripts

More than 200,000 linear feet of rare and unique archives and manuscript collections

10 million photographs

56 million archived web pages

1 therapy dog

2,400 years; approximate age of one of the oldest items (papyrus, c. 399 &emdash; 275 BCE

About Us

FY 2013

The Harvard Library advances scholarship and teaching by committing itself to the creation, application, preservation and dissemination of knowledge.

79 libraries

Commencement 1959: Chatting with JFK; most popular tweet

1 library in Florence, Italy

69 exhibits

1639: Year founded

400 books in John Harvard's bequest

922 staff members

7 Harvard Heroes

User Voices

FY 2013

The [Library’s] Scan & Deliver system has been invaluable to me. It has helped me to save tons of time, which for most of us in the university setting is a huge commodity

The [Countway Library] staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the collections, and always helpful. The collections themselves were excellent. I found a lot of very rich material, which (crucially!) was very well organized. Finally, I would like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to research in such a fantastic library! It is truly one of the most straightforward and enjoyable research experiences I have had.

You were wonderful to put together information that would be most relevant and valuable to our work. I’m so impressed by your grasp of the incredible collection at Baker and by the professionalism of your presentation.

What a blessing the Harvard University Archives are, and how grateful I am for this information …

Every class should be like this! I read more for this [Harvard Kennedy School] class than any other solely because the resources were made available to me online. What a fantastic green initiative!

The [Gutman] library staff are an outstanding resource and provide helpful and knowledgeable assistance! It is amazing how much they know and how accessible they are.

I don’t think the Queen could have had a better reception. I’ve never had a bad experience at a research library, but this visit was remarkable above all others. Thank you so much for keeping Harvard libraries such a great place to work and (yes) play.

Last month I spent a week at Lamont and Houghton libraries carrying out research on the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions archives. I just wanted to say how helpful and friendly I found all the library staff I spoke with. I very much appreciated their kindness.

[The Law School’s] great cadre of reference librarians can get you anything. In my book I acknowledge every reference librarian. Why? Because I love them!

Thank you so much for making the [Loeb Music] library the magical kingdom that it is. Many of the most special moments of my entire education occurred here, and it is your stewardship and enthusiasm that brought them to the fore. I will miss the library and its treasure trove of staff tremendously.

[The Schlesinger has] amazing digital collections. I looked at everything they have online … I was able to do very nitty-gritty data collection that feels very solid, that I can track very easily

Thank you, [Houghton Library], so much for your efforts on our behalf. Seeing the pages that the hand of Whitman touched truly brought the poems to life in a unique way. I realize very few students have this type of a spiritual experience.

The Year in Review

FY 2013

Mission Statement and Strategic Objectives Mission


The Harvard Library Board approved the first University-wide Library mission statement in June 2013:

The Harvard Library advances scholarship and teaching by committing itself to the creation, application, preservation and dissemination of knowledge.

Strategic Objectives

The Harvard Library Board approved Library strategic objectives in June 2013:

  • Implement a Harvard Library collection and content development strategic plan in support of University-wide research, teaching and learning for today and the future.
  • Enable effective access to the world of knowledge and data through intuitive discovery, networks of expertise and global collaborations.
  • Deliver innovative and programmatic support for learning and research in partnership with faculty and other research and pedagogical support organizations.
  • Steward vulnerable and critical research information in partnership with academic and administrative functions across the University and beyond.
  • Support a robust professional development network in a learning organization for library staff to achieve the strategic initiatives and the mission of theHarvard Library.


Collection Highlights

The Andover-Harvard Theological Library acquired Path to Geshe, a film about the Sera Jey Tibetan Buddhist monastery-in-exile in South India; the Coptic Gnostic Library Online; the Journal of the Oxford Center for Buddhist Studies; a donation of books from the collection of the 300-year-old First Congregational Society of Hampton Falls, NH; and Paradise Lost with annotations by Ezra Abbot, a Harvard librarian (1856–1872) and Divinity School professor (1872-1884).

The Countway Library Center for the History of Medicine acquired Levinus Lemnius’ De habitu et constitutione corporis (Antwerp, 1561), Bartholmaeus Bausner’s De consensus partium humani corporis (Amsterdam, 1656) and Antonio Cocchi’s De usu artis anatomicae oratio (Firenze, 1761) through the John Warren Fund of the Boston Medical Library. The Center also acquired the records of Rashi Fein, Harvard Medical School professor, Judith Palfrey, T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Anne Buckingham Young, a neurology researcher, clinician and educator.

The Ernst Mayr Library neared completion of a project to digitize the portion of William Brewster’s field notes related to his book, The Birds of the Cambridge Region of Massachusetts, and connect them to specimens in the Museum of Comparative Zoology.

The Fine Arts Library acquired an album of albumen photographs of India and Afghanistan, ca. 1878, compiled for Sir Frederick Paul Haines, commander-in-chief of British forces in India during the Second Afghan War. Also acquired were a number of facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts, which are actively used in undergraduate courses and upper-level seminars.

Gutman Library purchased a collection of mid-19th-century diaries written by Myron E. Rose, a rural schoolteacher and farmer in the area of Jefferson County, New York, as well as the Springer Behavioral Sciences Journal Archive, which includes nearly 1,200 volumes.

The Harvard Law School Library acquired L’Arbitre Charitable (1668), a legal self-help manual about charitable arbitration bound with two other works on medical self-help. This unique copy likely belonged to a local village leader. The illustrations are engravings of scenes of arbitration so the book’s owner would know where to stand and how to behave. HLSL also acquired Coustumes de la ville et eschevinage de Lille (1759), a manuscript compilation of the customary law of Lille, France, which will be digitized and freely available online in late 2013; a scrapbook related to the investigation of Francois Benjamin Courvoisier for the murder of Lord William Russell (1840), which will be conserved and digitized in FY 2014 and will add to the collection of items on the trial; research material of Jeffrey Toobin (Law School Class of 1986), which will be released for research in late 2013; and memorabilia and writings of John Jay Osborn (AB 1967, JD 1970) pertaining to The Paper Chase.

Items from two recently acquired Law School Library collections

The Harvard Map Collection received a gift from the Galvin Family of approximately 800 maps and atlases of New England, focusing on early transportation systems—including steamboat routes, trolley lines, bicycle paths and early automobile roads.

The Harvard University Archives acquired the Daniel Bell Collection. Bell was an American sociologist, writer, editor and professor emeritus at Harvard, best known for his contributions to the study of post-industrialism.

Knowledge and Library Services at the Harvard Business School significantly added to the Corporate Report Collection with additions from the London Business School, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. These additions exponentially increased the collection, making it the largest and most significant collection of corporate reports in the US.

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Library and Knowledge Services acquired the Political Button Collection of approximately 2,000 political buttons from United States state, local and national political campaigns and ballot questions from the 1940s through the 1990s.

The Loeb Design Library received the Kenzo Tangē Archive. Tangē is the most important Japanese architect of the 20th century. This gift, by Mrs. Takako Tangē, is a significant archive of original materials reflective of Kenzo Tangē’s extraordinary range of work. The collection of Tangē’s drawings is supplemented by notebooks and other manuscript materials as well as a comprehensive collection of Tangē’s publications, critical studies, journals, portfolios and ephemera.

Detail of recently acquired items from Kenzo Tange Archive

The Middle Eastern Division continued its aggressive acquisitions and processing activities despite obstacles imposed by the ongoing political upheaval and change in the regions of its collecting. Acquisitions reached 22,701 titles in 46 languages—Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Urdu being the top languages—and cataloging amounted to 21,175 titles in 55 languages.

The Schlesinger Library added 256 new manuscript collections, a record for the library. Highlights include the papers of Zarela Martinez, Elizabeth Higginbotham and the Ames Family Historical Collection.


Launch of New Library Organization

On August 1, 2012, a new Harvard Library organization began operations, designed to improve a fragmented system of 73 libraries across the Schools with one that promotes University-wide collaboration. Unifying functions that occur within all libraries—Access Services, Technical Services and Preservation and Digital Imaging Services—will enable greater focus on the needs of the user community. The new structure was developed from recommendations of the Task Force on University Libraries and the Library Implementation Working Group.



Harvard Library Board

The Harvard Library Board is composed of seven permanent members and five rotating members who serve three years each, with their initial terms staggered. The permanent members are the provost, the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and the deans or designees from the following Schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School. Serving in these positions are:

Robert Darnton, Pforzheimer Professor and University Librarian

Leslie Kirwan, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Mihir Desai, Harvard Business School

Katie Lapp, Harvard Executive Vice

Alan Garber, Provost, Board Chair

Richard Mills, Harvard Medical School

Mary Lee Kennedy, Senior Associate Provost (ex officio)

Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School

The rotating members consist of three at-large, tenured faculty members, as well as deans or designees from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Radcliffe Institute. Serving in these positions are:

Nancy Cott, At-Large Faculty Member for the Humanities

William “Terry” Fisher, At-Large Faculty Member for the Social Sciences

John T. Hamilton, At-Large Faculty Member for the Humanities

Isaac Kohane, At-Large Faculty Member for the Natural Sciences

Mohsen Mostafavi, Graduate School of Design

Stuart Shieber, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Harvard Library Faculty Advisory Council

The Council advises the Library Board and the two groups meet together twice a year. Its members include:

Joseph Brain, Harvard School of Public Health

Joyce Chaplin, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Kathleen Coleman, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Robert Darnton, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Chair

Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School

James Engell, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Chair

Jeffrey Hamburger, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Michael Herzfeld, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School

Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School

David Lamberth, Harvard Divinity School

Erika Naginski, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Elio Raviola, Harvard Medical School

Julie Reuben, Harvard Graduate School of Education

James Rice, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Salil Vadhan, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Dennis Yao, Harvard Business School


Library Council on Student Experience

The Library Council on Student Experience consists of librarians and students from across the University who identify and work together on University-wide priorities identified by the Council for improving the student library experience. The Council makes recommendations to and is supported by the vice president for the Harvard Library.

Laura Farwell Blake, Harvard College Library, Co-Chair

Wendy Brown, Harvard Medical School

Sandra Cortesi, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Phil Dade, Co-Chair

Sarah Dickinson, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Aminu Gamawa, Harvard Law School

Luke Gaudreau, Harvard Kennedy School

Matthew Guilford, Harvard Business School

Carla Lillvik, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Poping Lin, Harvard Business School

Rohit Malhotra, Harvard Kennedy School

Tara Raghuveer, Harvard College

Ellen Shea, Radcliffe Institute

Cammi Valez, Co-Chair

Clifford Wunderlich, Harvard Divinity School

Lissa Young, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jennifer Zhu, Harvard College


The Library Leadership Team

The Library Leadership Team is responsible for planning, prioritizing and implementing joint Library initiatives. The team works with the vice president for the Harvard Library to develop and implement Library-wide strategy and policy approved by the Board. In collaboration with the Library IT Steering Committee it prioritizes new technology initiatives. In collaboration with the Innovation Working Group it prioritizes innovations to be scaled. It is chaired by the senior associate provost for the Harvard Library.

Jim Borron, Senior Program Manager

John Collins, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Leslie Donnell, Harvard Kennedy School

Marilyn Dunn, Radcliffe Institute

Susan Fliss, Harvard College Library

Franziska Frey, Preservation, CDIS

Douglas Gragg, Harvard Divinity School

Dan Hazen, Harvard College Library

Mary Lee Kennedy, Senior Associate Provost

Sue Kriegsman, Office for Scholarly Communication

David Osterbur, Harvard Medical School

Kira Poplowski, Director of Communications

Tracey Robinson, Library Technology Services

Lynne Schmelz, Harvard College Library

Lisa Schwallie, Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Sheehy, Access Services

Helen Shenton, Executive Director of the Harvard Library

Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Harvard University Archives

Debra Wallace, Harvard Business School

Ann Whiteside, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Scott Wicks, Information and Technical Services

Suzanne Wones, Harvard Law School


Affinity Groups

The Affinity Groups bring the School library staff together in support of research, collections development and teaching and learning. They work within and across affinity groups. University-wide strategy and policy recommendations come to the Provost and to the Board for approval. They work with the Library Leadership Team on University-wide library strategy development and implementation. The group heads report to the executive director of the Harvard Library. Members include:

Leslie Donnell, Affinity Group 1

Lynne Schmelz, Affinity Group 2

Douglas Gragg, Affinity Group 3

Ann Baird Whiteside, Affinity Group 4

Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Affinity Group 5



In May 2013, Provost Alan Garber appointed Sarah Thomas vice president for the Harvard Library, with overall responsibility for the Harvard Library in collaboration with the Library Board, Faculty Advisory Council and Library Leadership Team. Thomas will join Harvard in August 2013. She previously served as Bodley’s Librarian and director of the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford.


FY13 Projects

Several cross-library projects were launched in FY2013:

In June 2013, the Library Board approved recommendations made in Harvard’s first University-wide collections and content development strategic plan. The recommendations were developed by the Affinity Group heads, working with the executive director of the Harvard Library, following extensive consultation with Library staff members, faculty, researchers and other key stakeholders.

A new library portal went live in September 2012 with new features including the ability to search multiple, widely used catalogs from a single search box; the ability to search by library hours, subjects, Schools and amenities; and a Library-wide staff directory searchable by name, School and area of expertise. This project was supported by a Working Group with Library-wide representation and a Steering Group with University-wide representation. Additionally, an updated module on the Harvard mobile application was launched in May 2013.

The Andover-Harvard Theological Library completed several digitization projects: the records of the Arlington Street Church (1730–1979), a historic Unitarian church in Boston; pamphlets and other materials illustrating religious aspects of the American Civil War; and high-use microform materials. Additionally, the library reprocessed the papers of Paul Tillich (1886–1965), a Harvard University professor, and expanded and enhanced the finding aid. Last, Andover-Harvard participated in three Library Lab projects: Scanning Key Content, Social Tagging for Archival Collections and Course Reserves Unleashed.

The Countway Library Center for the History of Medicine opened the papers of David H. Hubel, Nobel Laureate, Joseph E. Murray, Nobel Laureate, and David G. Nathan, president emeritus of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Additionally, the Center completed digitization of the William A. Haseltine papers.

Gutman Library began a project to process the extensive papers of Porter Sargent, a well-known education critic and a publisher of education handbooks. Gutman also completed a project making management of course packs entirely digital.

The Harvard Law School Library launched StackLife, which allows users to browse millions of items across collections, at Harvard, Cornell and the Digital Public Library of America. The library also launched the Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Digital Suite, which includes more than 132,000 pages and 1,100 images from five manuscript collections. The Awesome Box, which allows library patrons to return materials to a box set aside for items they deem to be awesome, was rolled out to 23 libraries outside of Harvard. The HLSL digitized more than 109,000 pages of manuscripts and published materials, including the 19,000 pages of manuscripts in the Simon Greenleaf Papers (1792-1853) collection, as well as the entire printed archive (1946–2001) of the Harvard Law Record. The Law Library also contributed more than 1,000 volumes of US and foreign law publications to digitization partnerships with Gale Cengage Publishing, the William S. Hein & Co., Inc. and the Law Library Microform Consortium. Last, the library developed the program and technical foundations for a mass digitization effort to “Free the Law,” beginning with public-domain reporters from New York courts, with generous support from the Arcadia Fund.

The Harvard University Archives completed digitization of the records of the Hasty Pudding Club, records of the Harvard University News Office photographs, the papers of John and Hannah Winthrop, Harvard University Corporation records of grant work among the Indians and Harvard University Corporation records relating to the Mashpee Indians.

Recently digitized posters from the Hasty Pudding Club

Knowledge and Library Services at Harvard Business School converted a third-floor space into the Stamps Reading Room Annex for students to use as a project team space. Direct access to research librarians in the Stamps Reading Room, moveable tables and chairs and a Mediscape provide an enhanced research environment. The library also created a forensic workstation designed to extract data from obsolete media and to process electronic records.

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Library and Knowledge Services led a project to integrate Course Materials Services into the library and to deliver course materials electronically.

The Loeb Music Library installed a new Sound Studies Lab, funded by a grant from the Hauser Fund and the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching. The lab gives students access to cutting-edge tools for composition, audio capture and recording, and digital media and video editing, as well as audio mixing, mastering and restoration.

The Schlesinger Library completed the Maximum Access Project, eliminating more than 80% of the manuscript backlog that existed when the project first began, 88% of the audiovisual backlog and 100% of the published material backlog. The Schlesinger also completed digitization of the Beecher Stowe Family Collection Correspondence, the Susan B. Anthony Collection and the Black Women’s Oral History Project, and of audio collections including Boston Women’s Radio.

Recently digitized photos by Judith Sedgwick

Tozzer Library completed relocation of all materials in preparation for a major renovation, transferring approximately 130,000 volumes.

Widener Library created a new Collaborative Learning Space where librarians and faculty can partner to support teaching from both print and digital library collections. Additionally, a video capture room was installed in Widener for HarvardX and Faculty of Arts and Sciences curricular use.

Wolbach Library launched Data Science Training for Librarians, supported by the Arcadia Fund, to help librarians build improved data services.


Grants Received

The Countway Library Center for the History of Medicine received a grant from the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Council on Library Resources (CLIR) to allow the Center and its partner, the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, to open currently inaccessible public health collections to researchers.

The Harvard Law School Library received six grants from Harvard’s Library Lab to support several project proposals, one grant from the Arcadia Fund for the Freeing the Law Project and two grants from the Digital Public Library of America to support development and integration of StackLife.

Preservation, Conservation and Digital Imaging Services received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to test a Library of Congress pilot program on careers in digital stewardship. The Weissman Preservation Center received a Samuel H. Kress Conservation Fellowship from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, administered by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, to support the Center’s first fellowship.

The Schlesinger Library received a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant to digitize the Blackwell Family Collections. This two-year project will digitize nearly 190,000 pages in five archival collections that trace four generations of the extraordinary Blackwell family. The most significant members are Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor; her sister Emily; their brother Henry, a noted abolitionist and women’s suffrage activist; his wife Lucy Stone, the famous women’s suffrage leader; and their daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell (sister-in-law to Elizabeth, Emily and Henry), reformer and first woman to become an ordained minister.

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