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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), the Harvard University and Smithsonian Institution communities, and the international astronomical community.

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
 
 
 
 

HOURS OF OPERATION

 
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Circulation Desk
 
 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 
Contact by Phone
Main Desk:
(617) 496-5769
Fax:
(617) 495-7199
Emergency:
(617) 495-1212
Contact by Email / Web
Main:
library@cfa.harvard.edu
Website
 
Official Website
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The John G. Wolbach Library, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS-56, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
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ABOUT

 

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world's preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

 

Collections

 

Background

The Harvard College Observatory Library collection began as the result of the tradition of the exchange of scholarly works among observatories worldwide in the mid-1800’s and expanded further as commercially published astronomical material became available.  The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Library dates back to about 1959 when items were selected from the collection of astronomical material in Washington, D.C., and moved to Cambridge, MA. In 1975, the two libraries, which had been housed in separate areas within the Observatory buildings, were merged and became the Wolbach Library in the Perkin Building at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  In 1992, the library and its staff were placed under the charge of a single Head Librarian.  Wolbach Library continues to remain one of the world’s preeminenet astronomical collections.

Library Collection

The Wolbach Library collection occupies two floors and is comprised of materials of all types including books, journals, maps, charts,  microforms, and audio-visual resources, which total over one hundred thousand items in all.  Special Collections within Wolbach Library include:  the Astronomical Institutions (AI) Collection which contains historical publications issued by observatories world-wide; the Harvard Astronomy Department Dissertations Collection; an international Astronomy/Astrophysics Thesis Collection; and the papers resulting from the Harvard Astronomy Department Research Tutorials.  Some Wolbach Library materials are also housed in the Harvard Depository.  Most items held by Wolbach Library are discoverable via the HOLLIS catalog.

NASA ADS

The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) is a Digital Library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics, operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under a NASA grant.  The ADS is located within the Wolbach Library and the two collaborate on a variety of projects.  ADS maintains three bibliographic databases containing more than 9.6 million records: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Physics, and arXiv e-prints.  The main body of data in the ADS consists of bibliographic records, which are searchable through highly customizable query forms, and full-text scans of much of the astronomical literature which can be browsed or searched via our full-text search interface.  The ADS provides access and pointers to a wealth of external resources, including electronic articles, data catalogs and archives.

Microfilm Project

With support from a grant to Harvard University funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), publications in the Wolbach Library were microfilmed in order to ensure their preservation for future researchers.  The project also allowed the Library to duplicate publications from the greater astronomical community and engendered international collaboration as observatories and educational institutions worldwide contributed materials to be preserved.  In all, the project produced 783,522 frames or 1403 reels of microfilm.  A total of 1206 titles, both serials and monographs, were filmed.  The NASA ADS has digitized a large part of this material and it accessible online.  More information about the project here.

 
 

LIBRARY STAFF

 
 

ACCESSIBILITY

 
  • Before visiting the library, contact libraryatcfa [dot] harvard [dot] edu or (617) 496-5769, for directions and assistance.