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Overview of the Collections

Archives and special collections at Harvard encompass a vast array of rare and unique materials in a multitude of formats, from papyrus to born-digital records. Material from a number of collections is available online through digital collections, online exhibitions and HOLLIS.

 
  • Archives and special collections at Harvard encompass a vast array of rare and unique materials in a multitude of formats, ranging from papyrus scrolls, illuminated manuscripts, and early printed books to business records, personal and family papers, maps, artifacts, images in all formats, motion picture films and audio recordings.  Recent areas of collecting include web sites, blogs and other born-digital content. The collections support research on the study of cultural, social, political and scientific history. Other subject areas covered include legal, business, and medical history, the history of fine arts, design, and music, women’s history and the history of education in America.

    Nearly all of the collections are described in HOLLIS, Harvard’s online library catalog. Online exhibitions and digital collections provide immediate access to some of this material. For more information about the scope of collections, and to contact reference staff for assistance, see the individual repository websites.

     
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