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Wolbach Library

The Wolbach Library staff is dedicated to providing timely information and research services to members of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Harvard University and Smithsonian Institution communities, and the international astronomical community.

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Contact Information

Main Desk:
(617) 496-5769
(617) 495-7199
(617) 495-1212
The John G. Wolbach Library, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS-56, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
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The John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics comprises one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The Wolbach Library collection includes books, journals, maps, charts, microforms, and a variety of tools and technologies that total over one hundred thousand items. Most items held by Wolbach are discoverable in HOLLIS.

Added Names/Aliases: John G.Wolbach Library, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) Library, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, The Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library




Library Collection

The Harvard College Observatory Library collection began in the mid-1800's resulting from the exchange of scholarly works among observatories worldwide. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Library came about when astronomical material in Washington, D.C. was moved to Cambridge, MA in the late 1950's. In 1975 the two libraries were merged and became the Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is an online database for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a NASA grant. The ADS is located within the Wolbach Library and the two collaborate on a variety of projects. One such project is the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus.



  • Tools and Technology
  • Wolbach Library makes available tools and technology for vistors to explore.