One hundred years ago, Eleanor Elkins Widener's vision for an enduring memorial to her son drove the creation of an unparalleled repository of knowledge. Her generosity and foresight in establishing the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library helped set Harvard on a path of leadership and innovation in research, teaching, and learning.
Today, Widener Library remains vital to the mission of the Harvard Library system as it evolves to meet the ever-changing needs of students, faculty, and scholars. Libraries are transforming: as they build their collections, they also build connections. Increasingly, research is interactive, multidisciplinary, and undertaken in groups. And, in the 21st century—a time so characterized by screens and technology—there is a hunger to engage with original artifacts, authentic objects with their unique history in the transmission of ideas.
Widener Library’s future lies in becoming a thriving center of modern scholarship and serving as a vibrant and welcoming destination for the Harvard community and the wider world of scholars.
Sarah E. Thomas
Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian
Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences