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News and Events

The Library shares news on its world-class collections, talented staff and informative events.
Find more events by visiting the Harvard Library calendar.


The Talented Georges Doriot

A Baker Library exhibit portrays the rich career of the father of venture capital, legendary HBS professor, and military innovator.




Paul Worster, Multimodal Learning Librarian

In her “Not Dead Yet” Library Journal column, Widener research librarian Cheryl LaGuardia interviews Paul Worster, multimodal learning librarian, about his new position and what it entails.


Think You "Own" What You "Buy" on the Internet? Think Again

Kyle Courtney, program manager and copyright advisor in the Office for Scholarly Communication, examines the changing meaning of “ownership” when it comes to digital consumer content in a Politico piece.


A New Audience for "A Night of Storytelling"

Historians thought that the first Irish language “talkie” had been lost to a fire in 1943. But on February 19, at the symposium “Folklore and Flaherty” hosted by the Harvard Film Archive, an audience in America had the chance to see that film for the first time, on a print recently discovered and restored by the Harvard Library. 


Unmasking Minstrelsy

An exhibition at the Loeb Music Library unearths fresh insights by shining light on a song style with deeply racist roots.


A Glimpse Inside the Depository

Gizmodo takes a look at the Harvard Depository and Jeffrey Schnapp and Cristoforo Magliozzi's new documentary, Cold Storage.


Tome Raider

With Dan Hazen at its head, Harvard's collection development team seeks literature in unlikely places.


The Personal Civil War

A Schlesinger Library exhibit explores the conflict’s intimate, individual narratives.


The “Wild West” of Academic Publishing

A Harvard Magazine look at the troubled present and promising future of scholarly communication.


Crowdsourcing Old Journals

A project at the Ernst Mayr Library of the MCZ is using web participation and video games to digitize documents.


Poets' Voices Resurrected

A WBUR story on the restoration of endangered audio recordings at the Woodberry Poetry Room. 


Encounters with Tennessee Williams

A collection of manuscripts and ephemera at Houghton Library document the life of Tennessee Williams.


Angela Lansbury Visits the Film Archive

Film actress and theater icon Angela Lansbury introduced a screening of her 1962 film All Fall Down at the HFA. 


Ukraine Comes into Focus on Film

Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa shared his work and thoughts during a special series at the HFA.


Shadow Art

A Harvard Magazine article covers last summer's Houghton exhibition "Silhouettes: From Craft to Art."


Lamont, Cabot Libraries Introduce Self-Checkout

The new self-checkout options at Cabot and Lamont were higlighted in the Harvard Crimson.


A Closer Look at ‘Who’s Choosin’ Who?’

Melissa Harris-Perry, the host of the weekend news and political talk show that bears her name on MSNBC, addressed nearly 400 people at Radcliffe’s Knafel Center for the Maurine and Robert Rothschild Lecture. Her topic: “Who’s Choosin’ Who? Race, Gender, and the New American Politics.”


Is That Wallace Stevens?

Helen Vendler spoke at a Woodberry Poetry Room event celebrating the rediscovered recordings of Wallace Stevens in the Poetry Room's collection. 


8 Things You Didn’t Know About the Rebellious Roots of the Birth Control Pill

Jonathan Eig teased his Countway Library book talk and signing of his new book, The Birth of the Pill, in an interview with RadioBoston.


Civil War Exhibit Opens at Schlesinger Library

A Harvard Crimson story on the Schlesinger Library exhibit "What They Wrote, What They Saved: The Personal Civil War."


100 Years Later, Harvard Exhibit Maps Hellish Details Of World War I

Pusey Library's exhibit "From the Alps to the Ocean: Maps of the Western Front" was covered by WGBH.


What Book Should You Read Next? Putting Librarians And Algorithms To The Test

Recent efforts to provide online book recommendations by real librarians pit human expertis versus algorithms to varying results; David Weinberger of the Harvard LibraryCloud project weighs in. 


Stages of Conflict

Curator Bonnie Burns with her enormous map.

Pusey Library's World War I maps exhibit "From the Alps to the Ocean" captures the magnitude of the conflict, each map a shard of the shattered mirror reflecting a gruesome war.


A Good, Dumb Way to Learn From Libraries

Library Cloud's David Weinberger's thoughts on how to harness and compare data across libraries while maintaining user privacy.


Inside the Harvard Depository

Take a peek inside the Depository, the Library's massive, high-security, high-density storage facility.


World War I Revisited in Posters and Maps

French trench map showing trenches on the Western Front.

World War I maps exhibit "From the Alps to the Ocean" at Pusey Library is one of the local anniversary exhibitions mentioned in a Boston Globe article.


A Bookbinding Bonanza

Detail of colorful book cover.

“InsideOUT: Contemporary Bindings of Private Press Books”showcases artistic and innovative approaches to the traditional craft of bookbinding, reminding viewers that books are not just text. They can be aesthetic objects that share information about their creators and readers.


Let the Future Go

David Weinberger

The Library Innovation Lab's David Weinberger's thoughts on how web access of library knowledge will contribute to the future of libraries in society.



A new exhibition at Houghton Library showcases artistic and innovative approaches to the traditional craft of bookbinding.


The Early Audubon

A singular collection of naturalist drawings captures the evolution of his science and art.


Of Books, Trees and Knowledge

The Arnold Arboretum library has them all, making it a unique draw for scholars worldwide.


Lost Voices of 1953

The thoughts and theories of writer Ralph Ellison come to life with the rediscovery of Harvard conference recordings.


Widener Library at 100

Harvard President Drew Faust on Widener over a century.


Search Books & Articles Together!

graphic books plus articles together equals love

HOLLIS+, a new discovery system with intuitive interface, search precision enhances access to multiple types of materials from one starting point.


10 Thoughts on Digital Libraries: Where They Are Going

students working on computers

Vice President Sarah Thomas speaks to the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) on digital libraries.


Treating Ebola

Scott Podolsky

Dr. Scott Podolosky of Countway Library of Medicine on Ebola treatment over the years.


Scholarly Access to All

Never heard of Svalbard and Jan Mayen? Join the club. These Norse islands in the remote Arctic Ocean are among the few places in the world with no recorded downloads from Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH), the free and open repository for peer-reviewed literature written by Harvard faculty. With more than 20,000 items in storage, DASH is growing quickly. Since it started in 2009, the articles and dissertations in its repository have been downloaded more than 3.4 million times.


Tracking Fritz Lang

For many, the name Fritz Lang is synonymous with the image of a futuristic female robot, the haunting poster child for his 1927 science fiction classic Metropolis. But the Austrian-born director was a master of many genres, as visitors to the Harvard Film Archive (HFA) will see for themselves in the coming months. Beginning Friday and running through Sept. 1, the HFA will present a complete retrospective of Lang’s silent and talking feature films. With almost 40 works in total, the series is a tribute to the director’s remarkable range. 


Early Experiments in Catching the Eye

No blame will be assigned if you have never heard of the Massasoit Varnish Works or B.T. Babbitt’s Best Soap. And rest easy if you have forgotten that during the late 19th century, for the modest sum of 50 cents, you could purchase from the New York Dental Co. of 7 Tremont St. in Boston a device for the painless extraction of teeth. And yet blame and shame are all yours if you don’t see “The Art of American Advertising,” an exhibit open through Aug. 1 at Baker Library. The idea: illustrate the rise in America of artful, profit-making, culture-shaking advertising from 1865 to 1910.


Got Copyright?

The Harvard Library launches the Copyright First Responders Program, a resource for anyone at Harvard with copyright questions.


Susan Ware Appointed Senior Advisor to the Schlesinger Library

Historian Susan Ware AM ’73, PhD ’78 will become a senior advisor to the library and will serve during the academic year while the Radcliffe Institute conducts a search for a new director of the library.


Scrolls and Scrolling


Scholars who work with historical objects may think of those objects as worlds apart from emerging technology, but students in two courses — one offered through the Committee on Medieval Studies and Harvard Divinity School, the other through the Program in General Education — harnessed the power of both to curate exhibits now on display.


Genesis of Genius

Nine tiny, hand-lettered, hand-bound books made by Charlotte and Branwell Brontë were preserved and digitized to be made available to a global audience.


Harvard Library to Help Preserve Tibetan Literary Heritage

Beginning in July, Harvard Library will upload onto its digital storage system 10 million pages of Tibetan literature that survived China’s convulsive Cultural Revolution, the movement between 1966 and 1976 that led to the destruction of countless Chinese and Tibetan literary texts. The project is the result of a partnership between Harvard Library and the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC), a nonprofit organization based in Harvard Square that has been acquiring, scanning, and digitally preserving Tibetan volumes since its founding in 1999.


Astrobites: AAS Digital Switch

The American Astronomical Society announced earlier this week that it will no longer print physical (paper) editions of its publications. This represents a major and monumental change for one of the field’s most venerable institutions and its widely read and cited journals. Chris Erdmann of the Wolbach Library discusses what this shift signals for practitioners in the field of astronomy and academic publishing generally.


Florence Fearrington Librarian Appointed

Thomas Hyry from the University of California, Los Angeles will join Houghton Library in fall 2014.


Life Pieces to Masterpieces Exhibit

The Gutman Library’s first-floor gallery space was home to a collection of collaboratively created works by underprivileged African American youths. The “Life Pieces to Masterpieces” exhibit, comprising 29 pieces, touched on subject matters ranging from Cirque du Soleil to absent fathers to Mitt Romney.


Harvard-Yenching Library Becomes Permanent Member of China Academic Digital Associative Library (CADAL)

CADAL will provide free access to 1.75 million Chinese e-books to Harvard University.


Future-Proofing the Research Library

Sarah Thomas, vice president of the Harvard Library, delivered the inaugural Judith Nadler Vision Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library on May 22. Thomas’s talk, “Future-Proofing the Research Library,” examined the many ways that academic libraries are adapting to the changes in their campus roles.


Degrees of History

Glimpses through the ages in the earliest Harvard diplomas.


Chefs and Suffragettes

Beautiful photographs from the Schlesinger Library collection available to purchase online.


Grandes Dames of the Gardens

A New York Times article features materials from Harvard’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.


Fliss Appointed Head of Gutman Library

Dean James Ryan of GSE names Susan Fliss librarian and director.


Illuminating the Dark Ages

Professor Hamburger with medieval text

A recently-awarded NEH planning grant will help display and digitize Boston-area medieval manuscripts.


Inaugural Pforzheimer Fellows Selected

pforzheimer fellows announcement

Four fellows to join Harvard libraries this summer.


It's Bike to Work Week!

Library staff member Tom Lingner provides tips on biking to work.


Thomas Elected to AAAS

Vice President Sarah Thomas will join the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the most prestigious honorary societies in the US.


A World Digital Library Is Coming True!

In the May 22 issue of The New York Review of Books, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian Robert Darnton discusses the future of the digital library.


Spring Planting

This year’s Countway Community Garden crop will include plants veggies, flowers and medicinal herbs.


Library's Digital Archive Commemorates Emergency Medical Response

An article about the Strong Medicine exhibit in the Harvard Crimson


Tiny Treasure

Small—just 17 by 12.8 centimeters—Armenian Gospels feature stunning color drawings and meticulous work.


Elsevier Takedowns Q&A

Peter Suber from the Office for Scholarly Communication on the takedown notices Harvard received from Elsevier.


Boston Marathon Medical Mementos

Boston Magazine covers Strong Medicine, a joint project of Harvard's Countway Library and the Boston Medical Library. 


'Strong Medicine' Honors Medical Community

WBZ-TV covers Strong Medicine, a library project that captures the stories of medical professionals who responded to the Boston Marathon bombings.


Harry's Books

Take a virtual tour of the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Collection.


Strong Medicine

A new archive captures the stories of medical professionals who saved countless lives following the Boston Marathon bombing.


Story Debunked

New testing shows a book thought to be bound in human skin is actually bound in sheepskin.


A New Chapter in Verse

The Woodberry Poetry Room kicked off a new series called "Reinventing the Workshop" to examine the process and tradition of instruction in creative writing.


Science or Art?

Wired magazine features beautiful images from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, to which the Harvard Botany Libraries and Ernst Mayr Library are key contributors.


Ties to the Past

A collection of Walter Gropius’s bowties at the Loeb Design Library reflects his love of joy.


50 for 50

The Gutman Gallery showcases 50 photographs to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cambridge Historical Commission, exploring “what makes Cambridge, Cambridge.” (Photo: Bill Shaw)


Small But Mighty

Tiny, fragile, beautifully detailed model stage sets for 19th-20th-century theater productions from the Harvard Theatre Collection.


Bach to Bach

Joint exhibitions at Houghton Library and Loeb Music Library mark the 300th anniversary of composer C.P.E. Bach’s birth.


Harvard, Cornell, Stanford Libraries Project Receives Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a nearly $1 million, two-year grant to support an investigation using Linked Data and the Semantic Web to improve discovery and access of scholarly information by the three libraries.


America’s First Book

An extremely rare copy of the Bay Psalm Book (1640), the first book printed in America, will be on display for a limited time. Harvard holds one of only 11 remaining copies.


The Colonial North America Project

An ambitious Library project digitizes and posts online tens of thousands of documents from archival collections at Harvard and beyond.


The Digital Dickinson

A sophisticated site gathers her poems, in her handwriting, for all to see and study.


New Library VP Sees Opportunities Ahead

Sarah Thomas

In a move that brings together the leadership of the libraries of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the Harvard Library under a single individual, Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library, has been named to carry forward plans for increased cooperation and communication as the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 


Undergraduate Book Collecting Award Winners Recognized

Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting

This year's winners of the Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting were recognized at a reception in Widener Library. The Prize is awarded annually to recognize and encourage book collecting by Harvard undergraduates.


Library Acquires Original Star Trek Writers' Guide

Star Trek writers' guide

The original, photocopied handbook from 1967, part of Houghton Library's large science fiction collection, includes intriguing details on the original TV show's ethos, characters, terminology and spaceship.


Spring Exams 2013: Library Hours & Services

Spring Exams 2013: Library Hours & Services

Cramming at 2am? Lamont is open 24/7. Prefer a fireplace? Go to Gutman. Study break? Borrow a bike from the Law School Library. Freaking out? Check out Cooper, a therapy dog, from Countway.


Hofer Prize Winners Announced

The annual prize, named for Philip Hofer ’21, a former curator of Houghton Library, is given to students whose collection of books or works of art fulfill “the traditions of breadth, coherence and imagination” exemplified by Hofer.


Gutman Library Renovation Certified LEED Platinum

The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s 2012 renovation of Gutman Library’s first and second floor was recently recognized by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), receiving LEED Platinum certification.


Mirror With a Memory

The Harvard University Archives' exhibit displays photographs and other artifacts spotlighting Harvard in the Civil War era.


HLS and the Road to Marriage Equality

The Caspersen Room in the Harvard Law School Library is currently displaying an exhibit documenting the involvement of HLS students, faculty and alumni in the long road to marriage equality.


Alpha, Beta, Zeega

Alpha, Beta, Zeega

Zeega is a Harvard Library Lab project that revolutionizes interactive storytelling by allowing users to harness text, images and audio from the Web. 


Portraits of a Vanished Indian Life

Portraits of a Vanished Indian Life

Two photo albums at Harvard's Tozzer Library contain more than one thousand rare images of 19th century Native Americans.


A Tuned-In Savior

A Tuned-In Savior

Harvard graduate student Rachel Vandagriff "discovered" a treasure trove of materials related to new music champion Paul Fromm and created an exhibit at Loeb Music Library.


Biodiversity Heritage Library Receives Computerworld Laureate Award

Biodiversity Heritage Library Receives Computerworld Laureate Award

The Biodiversity Heritage Library, co-founded by Harvard's Botany Library and Ernst Mayr Library, was named a 2013 Laureate by the Computerworld Honors Program.


Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures

More than 400 glass models of marine creatures in the Library collection are so delicate that they rarely, if ever, go on public display.


Harvard Library Quirky Collections

Harvard Library Quirky Collections

Bathing trunks, breathable chocolate, musket balls: read about odd acquisitions in the Harvard Library collection.


Poetic Greetings

Poetic Greetings

From 1976-96, Harvard Square pedestrians entered the Phone-a-Poem installation, dialed, and heard poems read by Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman and others recorded on an answering machine.


Arresting Images

Arresting Images

A Harvard Law School Library Exhibit demonstrates America's appetite for tawdry and salacious crime, long before O.J. or Oscar.


Library's New Page Delivery Service Optimizes Tablet Display

Library's New Page Delivery Service Optimizes Tablet Display

Read about the Harvard Library's tablet version of the Page Delivery Service, designed to provide significant benefits to Harvard's researchers.


Valentine's Day in the Harvard Library Collection

Valentine's Day in the Harvard Library Collection

"Be mine, you nasty and ugly and crabbed old scold," states a rare 19th century hand-drawn valentine--explore (and enjoy!) Valentine’s Day through the Harvard Library collection.


The Emancipation Proclamation Now

The Emancipation Proclamation Now

On the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, read about its ongoing impact and the rare miniature version, printed for freed slaves, in the Houghton Library collection.


A Remembrance of Things Proust

A Remembrance of Things Proust

Read about a semester-long exhibit at Houghton Library, "Private Proust: Letters and Drawings to Reynaldo Hahn," on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Proust's Swann's Way.


Harvard Film Archive Films Now Searchable Through Library Catalog

Harvard Film Archive Films Now Searchable Through Library Catalog

The majority of the Harvard Film Archive's records--representing more than 23,000 films and videotapes--are now searchable through the Harvard Library catalog, HOLLIS.


Harvard-Yenching Library Joins Borrow Direct

Harvard-Yenching Library Joins Borrow Direct

More than 400,000 items from the Harvard-Yenching Library collection are now accessible to Harvard's Borrow Direct partners, in addition to the approximately 6.5 million items from Harvard's collections previously made available to Borrow Direct partners.


Note Taking in a Clickable Age

Note Taking in a Clickable Age

Read about the Take Note Symposium, which included tours to see items in several Harvard libraries.


Girls Who Rock Out

Girls Who Rock Out

"She likes death metal and bunnies at the same time." Read about Girls Rock!, a documentary that follows girls attending the Girls Rock Camp, screened at a Schlesinger Library Movie Night.


Library Lab Puts on a Show

Library Lab Puts on a Show

Read about the Harvard Library Lab's Showcase, a campus-wide exhibition of 28 Library Lab projects that make original contributions to the way libraries work. 


Battle Cries of Freedom

Battle Cries of Freedom

Read an article about a Countway Library Center for the History of Medicine exhibit that explores how the Civil War challenged paradigms of death, medicine and mourning.


Libraries Re-Imagined: Harvard Opens a Pop-Up Labrary in Cambridge

Harvard Opens a Pop-Up Labrary in Cambridge

BostonInno stops by the Labrary, a pop-up storefront space that explores how innovations in design can help libraries evolve. 


The Publishing Industry Isn't Doomed

The Publishing Industry Isn't Doomed

Fast Company quotes University Librarian Robert Darnton on the democratization of publishing.


A Place to Put All Those Curiosities

A Place to Put All Those Curiosities

The New York Times reviews an exhibit at New York's Grolier Club which features several items from the Houghton Library collection.


Cookbooks Echo with the Wisdom of Chefs Past

Cookbooks Echo with the Wisdom of Chefs Past

The New York Times writes about marginalia in cookbooks, inlcuding those of Julia Child in the Schlesinger Library collection.


Multimedia Immersion

Multimedia Immersion

Read about a Harvard Wintersession boot camp for faculty, students and librarians focused on using new media in research, teaching and learning.


The Rise, Ruin of a China Trader

The Rise, Ruin of a China Trader

Read about a Baker Library online exhibit on the earliest days of the China trade and the successes and ultimate failure of a New England trader.


Santo Domingo Collection Chronicles Cultural Backdrop of Sex, Drugs

Santo Domingo Collection Chronicles Cultural Backdrop of Sex, Drugs

The Santo Domingo Collection at Harvard features art, literature and popular culture artifacts related to achieving altered states of mind.


Chronicle: Harvard Library Innovation Lab

Harvard Library Innovation Lab

Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab projects featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Harvard to Contribute Special Collections Materials to Digital Public Library of America

The Harvard Library plans to share several collections with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)—becoming the first DPLA content hub.


The Art of Saving Art

The Art of Saving Art

Weissman conservators repair Le Corbusier and Miró works for the Carpenter Center.


Evidence of Greatness

Evidence of Greatness

Harvard Law School showcases the life and work of Joseph Story in an exhibit and digital suite.


Harvard Library to Adopt RDA

The Harvard Library

The Harvard Library plans to adopt Resource Description and Access (RDA), joining the three US national libraries—Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine and the National Agricultural Library and peers—in implementing the new code.


Edward Lear's Natural History

Edward Lear

"The Natural History of Edward Lear," on display at Houghton Library, shows the famed nonsense writer’s early devotion to painting, and sketching.


Old Japan, Online

“Early Photography of Japan,” a virtual collection of more than 2,000 images from three Harvard University libraries, documents the early history of Japanese commercial photography, and reflects the Western image of traditional Japanese culture before the modernization that occurred during the Meiji period (1868–1912).


Guides to the Gallows

The Law School's "Dying Speeches and Bloody Murders" collection captures 19th century English trials and executions.


Widener’s Slavic Division Boasts Rich Collection from across the Region

Harvard receives gift of Macedonia Literature

Macedonian President Ivanov recently presented a gift of 130 books of Macedonia literature to the Slavic Collection during recent visit to Harvard.


Sensibly Saving Jane Austen

Two of her fragile letters, owned by Harvard, undergo painstaking repair at the Library's Weissman Preservation Center.


Provost Alan Garber on Harvard Library Launch

"I am confident that the remarkable strengths of our libraries, and particularly the people who bring them to life, will allow us to build a Harvard Library that will set the standard now and in the future."


Updike's Roots and Evolution

"John Updike: A Glimpse from the Archive" at Houghton Library explores how Updike, a boy from rural Pennsylvania, became Updike the international literary icon.


Boston Globe: Julia Child Turns 100 at Radcliffe

The Boston Globe features the Julia Child Collection at the Schlesinger Library on Child's centenary celebration.


A Julia-Worthy Feast

Materials from the Julia Child Collection at the Schlesinger Library highlight Julia's work, marriage and joie de vivre.


Harvard's Best Listeners

The Library's audio team makes high-end digital copies of audio artifacts, some in fragile or rare formats.


The New York Times: Harvard Releases Big Data for Books

The New York Times covers the Harvard Library's release of nearly 100% of its records—more than 12 million from 73 libraries.


US News and World Report: Is the Academic Publishing Industry on the Verge of Disruption?

US News & World Report explores academic journals and the Library Faculty Advisory Council's warning on their cost.




What They Wrote, What They Saved: The Personal Civil War


Diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts from four years of civil war offer intimate glimpses into the lives of men and women affected by the conflict. Tied up in ribbons, labeled in spidery hands, tucked into trunks, and saved by generations of kin, these 19th-century documents, photographs, artifacts, and books from the library’s collections speak of love, courage, ambition, humor, insecurities, and dreams. All this while they demonstrate the unexpected reservoirs of strength and the uncommon commitment of the men who fought in battles and women who aided the war effort—and of those at home who loved them. The exhibit runs through March 20, 2015.


Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies


This Baker Library Historical Collections exhibit examines the career of Harvard Business School professor Georges F. Doriot (1899–1987), a legendary educator, a founder of the modern venture capital industry and a US Army general during World War II. It features selections from the Georges F. Doriot Collection—on permanent loan to Baker Library from the French Library and Cultural Center in Boston—that reveal the ideas and ideals of a man who played an important role in the emergence of the postwar entrepreneurial economy. The exhibit runs through August 3, 2015.


Starry Messengers: Signs and Science from the Skies


Throughout the ages, we have looked to the night sky in a search for meaning. Comets, meteors, eclipses and other celestial events have been used by scientists to better understand the physical universe, by sages to predict the future, and by writers seeking inspiration. Starry Messengers brings together books and manuscripts from Houghton's collections that demonstrate how these events were understood in the early modern world. The exhibition runs through May 2.


"Where Mis'ry Moans": Four Prison Reformers in 18th- and 19th-Century England


By the dawn of the 18th century, prisons, or gaols (jails), had been part of England’s criminal justice system for hundreds of years. Oversight and inspection were lax, and conditions often dark, filthy and harsh. This exhibit focuses on four English prison reformers of the 18th and 19th centuries: John Howard, George Onesiphorus Paul, Elizabeth Fry and John T. Burt. The exhibit runs through April 24.


"We Carry With Us Precious Memorials": Harvard Class Photograph Albums 1852-1865


“No friendships of after-life begin to equal in ardor and intensity those of college days,” Charles Carroll Tower, Harvard Class of 1855, mused. “[T]hanks to the aid of photography we are enabled, as we take leave of each other today, to carry with us precious memorials of college associations.” With the introduction of photography in the mid-19th century, Harvard graduates could remember their college years with a new fidelity. The earliest class pictures were daguerreotypes, unique images on a silver plate. From 1853 to 1864, class photographs took the form of salted paper prints, the first negative-to-positive technique. Year by year, photographers perfected the science and artistry of this pioneering process. Seniors assembled the collection of images into custom-made albums, which began as simple notebooks and by the 1860s had transformed into handsome, gilt-edged tomes. The poignant reminiscences and elaborate embellishments through the years reflect the evocative ways in which graduates commemorated this formative period of their lives for themselves and for posterity—at the moment when Harvard itself was transitioning from a provincial college into a major university. The exhibition runs through May 29.


Beacons of the Water World: The Evolution of the Sea Chart


For much of human history, the most efficient and least cumbersome way to cover long distances and transport goods was on water. Yet navigation—whether by canoe, galley, caravel, ketch, or schooner—was never without its hazards. Survival often depended upon detailed information gathered orally from seasoned mariners or from written instructions compiled from numerous logs of voyages into unfamiliar seas. By the late 16th century, the expansion of trade within Europe and the increasing pace of exploration abroad created an urgent need for reliable accounts and accurate surveys of new navigational routes. This exhibit investigates the evolution of sea charts—from pilot books with a focus on European waters to multi-volume atlases ranging the great seas of the world. It surveys the major chartmakers of northern Europe, with attention to the development of a common symbolic language for depicting navigational hazards and aids. The exhibition runs through June 10.


The Treasure Room


One hundred years ago, visitors to the newly dedicated Memorial Rooms in Widener Library would have first passed by the Treasure Room in the marble entrance lobby. The Treasure Room housed Harvard’s most valued collections, mounted frequent exhibitions, and supported the research of faculty and scholars. This exhibition provides a brief history of a long-forgotten library space, the nucleus of what would later become Houghton Library. Photographs, documents, letters, and other objects, such as the only book believed to have survived from John Harvard’s library, are on view, drawn from the collections of the Harvard University Archives and Houghton Library. The exhibition runs through March 31.


Tour of Widener Library


Tours of Widener Library are offered every Thursday for all currently affiliated Harvard faculty, staff, students and visiting scholars. Conducted by research and reference librarians, the tour includes an introduction to Widener's collections, orientation to the facilities, including the reading rooms and the stacks and an explanation of services available to researchers. All tours begin just beyond the Security Desk at the main (Yard) entrance of the building.


Tour of Houghton Library


Public tours of Houghton Library are offered every Friday at 2 pm. Attendees receive a general introduction to the library, followed by a tour of the Emily Dickinson, Amy Lowell and John Keats rooms, as well as the suite devoted to the Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson. Those wishing to take the tour should meet in the Houghton Library lobby. Reservations are not required.


Film: Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song


Directed by Melvin Van Peebles. With Simon Chukster, Melvin Van Peebles, Hubert Scales. US, 1971. Part of the Harvard Film Archive series Furious Cinema '70–'77.


Film Screening: Things We Don't Talk About


2012, directed by Isadora Liedenfrost. Things We Don’t Talk About: Healing Stories of the Red Tent chronicles the growing Red Tent Temple Movement. Inspired by Anita Diamant’s historical novel The Red Tent, women in various stages of life gather together to share stories about their lives, their bodies, and what it means to be female. Since the grassroots movement began in 2007, thousands of Red Tent spaces and gatherings have been organized around the world. Part of the Schlesinger Library Movie Night series "Women's Bodies."


Photograph Preservation Presentations


Harvard Library Preservation Services invites you to attend a set of presentations on various aspects of photograph preservation. Preservation staff members Melissa Banta, Brenda Bernier, Elena Bulat, Robert Burton and Franziska Frey have presented papers at recent conferences, including the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation and "Current Research in Photography" at the State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. They have graciously agreed to reprise their talks for a Harvard audience. Franziska will give an overview of preservation at Harvard, Robert will talk about the importance of cataloging in preventive conservation, Melissa will speak on the salted paper print survey at Harvard, Elena will share her new research about coatings on salted paper prints, and Brenda will present on the preservation challenges of historic scientific photographs.


The Poetics of Graffiti: Andrew Zawacki


Poet and translator Andrew Zawacki (author of four books of poetry, most recently, Videotape) will read and screen images from his prose-photo hybrid project "Paris Photo Graff," which uses Paris graffiti as an occasion to think associatively about alternative or subaltern poetics, black and white photography, the disappeared body, artistic commodification, and the construction and demolition of public space. A book-signing will follow.


Film Screening: Dark Victory


1939, directed by Edmund Goulding, starring Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Ronald Reagan. When 23-year-old socialite Judith Traherne suffers from severe headaches and double vision, a famous medical specialist discovers that she has a lethal brain tumor. A classic of the “women’s film” genre, Dark Victory grapples with issues of love, life, death—and a woman’s right to make her own medical choices. Part of the Schlesinger Library Movie Night series "Women's Bodies."


Fim Screening: Cherry 2000


1987, directed by Steve De Jarnatt, starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews, featuring Laurence Fishburne. A quarter century before a man fell in love with an artificial woman in Spike Jonze’s Her, Melanie Griffith starred as a bounty hunter hired to find a replacement for a man’s beloved “Cherry 2000” model android. This campy B-movie is almost forgotten by all but the most devoted fans of cult science fiction flicks, but it raises complex questions about gender roles, sexual commodification, and emotional intimacy between men and women. Part of the Schlesinger Library Movie Night series "Women's Bodies."