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Widener Library

Widener Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built in the early 1900s by Eleanor Elkins Widener, it was given to Harvard as a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic.

Added Names/Aliases: Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library
 
 
 
 

HOURS OF OPERATION

 
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
General Hours
Reference Desk
Imaging Services
Privileges Office
 
 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 
Contact by Phone
Main:
(617) 495-2413
Contact by Email / Web
Reference:
asklib@fas.harvard.edu
Circulation:
widren@fas.harvard.edu
Website
 
Official Website
Baloon
Harvard Yard Harvard University Cambridge, MA 02138
Map
 
 

ABOUT

 

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

 

Collections

 

Research Collection

Widener holds one of the world's most comprehensive research collections in the humanities and social sciences. See Widener Collections for an in depth description.

Harry Elkins Widener Special Collection

Harry Elkins Widener (1885-1912), Harvard Class of 1907, formed an extraordinary collection of books, manuscripts, and drawings during his short lifetime. His original library, collected prior to his death on the Titanic in 1912, consists of approximately 3,300 volumes housed in the Memorial Room in Widener Library. See the History of the Harry Elkins Widener Collection online exhibition for more information.

 
 

LIBRARY STAFF

 
Blake, Laura Head of Services for Academic Programs farwell@fas.harvard.edu
Burchsted, Fred Research Librarian burchst@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Clark, George Research Librarian george_clark@harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Esty, Anna aesty@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Gilroy, Susan sgilroy@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Islam, Ramona rlislam@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Kuehler, Stephen Research Librarian kuehler@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Lowrie, Reed Manager, Reference and Information Services Cabot, Lamont, and Widener Libraries and Virtual Reference Services / FAS Libraries lowrie@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
Pyro, Hana hpyro@fas.harvard.edu
Rakityanskaya, Anna Slavic librarian rakityan@fas.harvard.edu
Sheehan, Kathleen ksheehan@fas.harvard.edu Request an Appointment
 

VISITOR POLICIES

 
  • Visitor
  • Widener Library is a research institution for the use of Harvard students, faculty, staff and visiting researchers, and is not open for public visitation or tours by individuals not affiliated with the University. Individuals who want to use one of the Harvard libraries for research should first visit the Library Privileges Office. The office is located on the first floor of Widener Library, Room 130. See Widener Library's admittance policy and library hours.

 
 

ACCESSIBILITY

 
  • Enter the library through the Mass. Ave door at the back of the building. The security guard can give you directions. Elevators go to all levels of the building and most bathrooms are accessible.

    The Newspaper and Microfilm Reading Room on the first floor has two computers equipped with Zoomtext 8.0 and JAWS software; one has the capability to play back materials in CD format. Headphones for use with JAWS are available at the desk. A CCTV system for enlarging printed text is available upon request.
     
    Users with disabilities are advised to schedule a preliminary, in-person consultation to discuss their research and physical access needs and for a brief orientation to the building and library services.
     
    For further information contact, Francesca Giacchino  via e-mail (fgiacchatfas [dot] harvard [dot] edu) or by phone 617-495-2414. See Widener Library Disability Services.