One of the largest and richest collections of its kind outside of Europe, Widener Library's Germanic collections include monographs and periodicals, rare books, unique and distinctive ephemera, electronic and born digital resources, data sets and audiovisual materials.
Collections date back to the early 19th century and attract researchers from all over the world.
Each year collection librarians in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania Division acquire newly published scholarly publications and mainstream materials, as well as a selection of unique and distinctive materials to meet the needs of current faculty and researchers.
Materials in the collection come in a variety of formats, including audiovisual, microfilm, print and digital. Over time, core areas that have developed are the Classics, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, including Byzantine Studies, the Ancient Near East, the History of Science, Local History, Germanic Languages and Literature, Philosophy and Social Thought, Colonial Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as German Cinema.
Some acquisitions that stand out in recent time are: the purchases of the Fraser collection of GDR materials, including monographs and periodicals on wide ranging subjects, ephemera collections including an important collection of political and cultural posters, with particular strengths on political counterculture movements in Western Germany and the rise of the Green Party, AIDS prevention and public health campaigns, as well as Film and Theater posters from both West- and East Germany.
Widener Library's Germanic collections are closely interwoven with the collections of other libraries at Harvard. Government documents are housed in Government Documents/Microforms, as are most of our microform materials. The Fine Arts Library, Frances Loeb Library (Graduate School of Design), Houghton Library (rare books and manuscripts), Harvard Law School Library, Loeb Music Library, Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Baker Library, Harvard Law School Library, Countway Library of Medicine, and Tozzer Library (anthropology) also hold significant resources from these world areas.
Accessing These Materials
All materials in this collection are listed in HOLLIS.
For more information, please contact collection development librarians in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania Division of the Harvard College Library.