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.
Harvard Will Save You From Your Copyright Crisis
Picture this: it’s a Thursday night in Lamont and you are madly typing away on a paper due the next morning. You’re calmly searching the internet for sources when all of a sudden, you have an emergency. There’s an awesome totally relevant article you found on Google Scholar, but you don’t know how to cite it. Lucky for you, this fall the Harvard Library system is launching its “Copyright First Responder” program, which includes a dozen library staff members who have been specially trained to answer questions related to copyright law.
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.
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
A recently-awarded NEH planning grant will help display and digitize Boston-area medieval manuscripts.
Inaugural Pforzheimer Fellows Selected
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.
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.
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.
Take a virtual tour of the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Collection.
A new archive captures the stories of medical professionals who saved countless lives following the Boston Marathon bombing.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Two photo albums at Harvard's Tozzer Library contain more than one thousand rare images of 19th century Native Americans.
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
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.
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
Bathing trunks, breathable chocolate, musket balls: read about odd acquisitions in the Harvard Library collection.
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.
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
Read about the Take Note Symposium, which included tours to see items in several Harvard libraries.
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
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
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
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
Fast Company quotes University Librarian Robert Darnton on the democratization of publishing.
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
The New York Times writes about marginalia in cookbooks, inlcuding those of Julia Child in the Schlesinger Library collection.
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
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
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’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
Weissman conservators repair Le Corbusier and Miró works for the Carpenter Center.
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 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
"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
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.
Theodore Roosevelt: “How I Love Sagamore Hill”
Houghton Library opens the New Year with selections from a photographic series by Xiomáro, a New York artist commissioned by the National Park service to photograph the interiors of Theodore Roosevelt's “Summer Whitehouse” at what is now Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Xiomáro’s photographs show the house in a historically rare condition: the 23-room mansion, usually chock full of furnishings and mementos, was nearly vacant as part of a three-year, $7.2 million structural rehabilitation. The exhibit is unique in that Xiomáro’s photographs do not solely focus on TR, but also draw attention to his wife, children and servants to give a sense of what life was like in the household. It runs through December 31, 2014.
Judy Chicago: Through the Archives
This exhibition at the Schlesinger Library explores Judy Chicago, an artist, author, feminist, educator and intellectual whose career now spans five decades. Her influence both within and beyond the art community is attested to by her inclusion in hundreds of publications throughout the world. Chicago's teaching and use of women’s history and “women's crafts” revolve around her belief that “female experience could be construed to be every bit as central to the larger human condition as is the male.” The exhibition runs through September 30, 2014.
Medieval Scrolls at Harvard
An exhibition of medieval scrolls from Harvard collections, ranging from illuminated luxury chronicles to workaday records, the scrolls illustrate the various ways in which an archaic format continued to be used long into the age of the codex. The exhibition is curated by the 16 students in Medieval Studies 240/Harvard Divinity School 2228: The Rotulus in the Middle Ages and by Professors Thomas Forrest Kelly and Beverly Mayne Kienzle together with Timothy M. Baker, Harvard Divinity School, and William P. Stoneman, Curator of Early Books & Manuscripts, Houghton Library. This exhibition runs through August 16, 2014.
In Print: 25 Years of Studio Works and GSD Platform
The record of the work and life of the Harvard Graduate School of Design can be found in the collections of the Frances Loeb Library. This display of the GSD publications Studio Works (1986/1987-2005/2007) and GSD Platform (2008-2013) presents a 25-year record of one mode of presentation of the school’s endeavors—centered on studio (core, option, and thesis) but encompassing research seminars, conference, lectures, exhibitions, interviews and essays in the community’s lively global engagement of the design disciplines. The exhibition runs through August 1, 2014.
Spanning the Centuries: An Exhibit of Recent Acquisitions, 1579-1868
With a vast and rich collection of materials spanning ten centuries, Historical & Special Collections (HSC) in the Harvard Law School Library is a treasure trove for those interested in tracing the history and development of the law, legal education, law practice, and the history of Harvard Law School. On view are some of our recent acquisitions. Case 1 showcases books and bound manuscripts that provide clues about who owned them and how they were used, while Case 2 features the latest additions to our true crime collections. The exhibition runs through August 22, 2014.
The Nature of Every Member: An Anatomy of Dissection at Harvard
This Countway Library exhibit chronicles the long and distinguished history of the study and teaching of human anatomy through dissection, moving from the very foundation of Harvard Medical School to the present day. Echoing the changes in teaching human dissection are the developments in anatomical legislation, as the illicit practice of grave-robbing for dissection gives way to Thomas Dwight’s 1896 formulation that cadavers for study are only “loaned to science,” paving the way for the legal instruments of anatomical gift in common use today. The exhibition runs through December 31, 2014.
Film Series: The Complete Fritz Lang
More than a career retrospective, the complete Fritz Lang (1890-1976) unrolls as a visionary panorama of what Max Weber called the “disenchantment of the world.” Lang’s purview encompasses police states and criminal networks, surveillance systems and media manipulations, information economies and mob rule. From Metropolis’s totemic skyscrapers to While the City Sleeps's glassy television studios, M’s aerial view of society’s response to a shocking crime to The Big Heat’s hard-boiled report on a criminal society, Lang’s films grasp the 20th century’s organizing structures of power and perception through an exquisitely controlled style owing more to architectural design than literary imagination. The Harvard Film Archive series runs through September 1, 2014.
From the Alps to the Ocean: Maps of the Western Front
World War One is often described as the first truly modern war, a war where advances in technology had outpaced the tactical thinking of the day. The massive changes that occurred in the field of military technology were mirrored in the field of mapmaking. New technologies led to new cartographic methods and techniques and to an increased reliance on maps. On the battlefield, cartographers were churning out maps of the trenches almost daily. At home, maps were being used to rally the home front in Europe and to try to convince the United States to join the Entente powers. Immediately after the war, maps were used to help decide how to redefine Europe. At the centennial of the start of the war, this exhibit explores the roles of maps and mapping on the battlefield and at home. The exhibition runs through November 11, 2014.
Silhouettes: From Craft to Art
This exhibition explores the production of hand-cut and printed silhouettes in books and manuscript albums from the late 1700s to the present, both as craft and as art forms in Europe and the US. The "craze" for silhouettes popularized this figurative genre among a wide audience at the end of the 18th century. Amateurs and professionals alike made silhouettes for private use or widespread circulation. During the 19th century, the visual vocabulary of these figures expanded. While remaining a popular art, silhouette-making attracted the interest of artists. The exhibit includes well-known books about or including silhouettes such as those of Johann Caspar Lavater and Kara Walker, as well as lesser-known items representative of the subject. It runs through September 30, 2014.
Film Screening: M
Directed by Fritz Lang. With Peter Lorre, Ellen Windmann, Inge Landgut. Germany, 1931. Part of the Harvard Film Archive's series The Complete Fritz Lang.
Library Interoperability has been hard at work for the past year building a brand spanking new version of LibraryCloud. In this session, the project leader and team will describe the project's design and architecture, talk about future directions, and help anyone who's interested get started using the API.
Out of Sight: Off-Site Records Storage
This Records Management Services workshop will present the step-by-step process of sending records to off-site storage at the Records Center. We cover everything from how to assemble and pack a box to how to complete the deposit paperwork.
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.
This Records Management Services workshop will introduce methods for gaining control of e-mail and managing it according to Harvard records policies as well as provide tips on how to organize your e-mail.
AIC Review, Part 2
The Weissman Preservation Center invites you to join us for two review sessions so attendees can share the high points of what we learned at the recent American Institute for Conservation (AIC) 42nd Annual Meeting in San Francisco. This August session will focus on Workshops, Discussion Groups, and AIC Business Meeting proposals.
InsideOUT: Contemporary Bindings of Private Press Books
Fifty-nine binders and nine private presses from North America, Canada and Britain have collaborated to form an exhibition which demonstrates the relationship of the binding design to the printed book. Because many of the binders have chosen the same title to work on, it also highlights the differing approaches to the same text. Samples of the texts and illustrations are shown alongside the bindings. The relationship between private presses and bookbinders is longstanding and it is hoped that this extra element to the show will provide the viewer with a more rounded appreciation of the work on display. Curator of the exhibition is Lester Capon, Fellow of Designer Bookbinders, the organization that sponsored the competition for which these bindings were created. The exhibition runs from September 11 through December 13, 2014.