This digital collection explores the intellectual, cultural, and political history of reading as reflected in the historical holdings of the Harvard's libraries.
Materials in the collection include:
- personally annotated books owned by John Keats, Herman Melville, Hester Lynch Piozzi, and others
- William Wordsworth's private library catalog
- commonplace books used by Joseph Conrad, Washington Irving, Victor Hugo, and more
- records of the Harvard College Library that reveal the reading activities of Emerson, Longfellow, and Thoreau
- historical textbooks that document the principles, and some of the biases, in reading instruction from the 18th to the early 20th centuries
- more than 250,000 pages from 1,200 individual items from the Harvard collections, including 800 books and 400 manuscript selections