Libraries

Tozzer Library

Tozzer Library is the oldest library in the United States devoted to collecting ethnology, archaeology, and related anthropological fields. It was founded in 1866 at the bequest of George Peabody as part of the new Peabody Museum and was originally known as the Peabody Museum Library.

In 1974 it was renamed Tozzer Library in honor of Alfred Marston Tozzer (1877–1954), Hudson Professor of Archaeology at Harvard and the library's second librarian. Tozzer, who served the library from 1935–1947, is credited with being largely responsible for building the library's Middle American archaeology and ethnology collection.

Originally the collections were housed in the Peabody Museum. In 1974 they were moved into the present building, designed by Johnson, Hotvedt and Associates, that was made possible by gifts from the Tozzer family and the late Francis Boyer. In 1979, Tozzer Library became an administrative unit of the Harvard College Library. The library has continued to grow and today it holds one of the largest and most comprehensive anthropology collections in the world.


Harvard Map Collection

The Harvard Map Collection is the oldest map collection in America, having grown to include ca. 400,000 maps, more than 6,000 atlases, and several thousand reference books. Topographic maps, city plans, nautical charts, and thematic maps comprise this excellent research collection representing all chronological periods and significant map makers. The Map Collection also has a strong commitment to digital resources and manages the collections of the Harvard Geospatial Library.

Houghton Library

Houghton Library is the primary repository for Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts. The collections of the Houghton Library focus on the study of Western civilization. Materials relating to American, Continental, and English history and literature comprise the bulk of these collections and include special concentrations in printing, graphic arts, and the theatre. The collections encompass wonderfully diverse holdings such as ostraca, daguerreotypes, and the working papers of living novelists and poets. Houghton Library regularly exhibits highlights from its collections in the Edison and Newman Room. These often include the personal effects, notes, books, and other objects of interest from authors such as Copernicus, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Edward Lear, Dante, Tennessee Williams, Goethe, Cervantes, and Lewis Carroll.


Harvard-Yenching Library

The Harvard-Yenching Library is the largest university library for East Asian research in the Western world.  In general, the collections share certain common characteristics in that for each country they provide comprehensive coverage of history, language and literature, philosophy and religion, fine arts, and sources for the study of the modern and contemporary periods in the social sciences. Each collection, however, has its own unique features.

Highlights of the library's collections include several hundred rare Japanese Buddhist scrolls; a group of Dongba (Naxi) manuscripts in pictographic script; an extensive collection of Chinese rubbings; a large set of Korean genealogies and collected writings; significant holdings of early Vietnamese newspapers; the archives of the Lingnan University Trustees (a missionary university in Canton originally known as the Canton Christian College) from 1884 to 1952; missionary works in Chinese, including translations of the Bible in different dialects; Manchu works of historical and literary interest; printings of 18th century Tibetan and Mongolian Buddhist texts; and collections of personal papers, including those of Tsiang Ting-fu and Hu Han-min, an early Kuomintang elder statesman; George A. Fitch, who was for many years associated with the YMCA and other missionary activities in China; and Joseph Buttinger, author and Vietnam specialist.

A Tiananmen Archive was established in the fall of 1989 that includes handbills, petitions, and pamphlets distributed by the demonstrators and the government, eyewitness reports, photographs, and videotapes. The library also holds the Hedda Morrison Photographs of China and the Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr. Collection on Muslims in China, as well as other sets of photographs from early 20th century Korea and China.

Ernst Mayr Library

The mission of the Ernst Mayr Library is to preserve and provide information resources and services to support the research and teaching activities of the Harvard University community, especially the science community. The Library is committed to being a leading resource in the fields of natural history, zoology, paleontology, biodiversity and comparative biology, evolution and ecology, and strongly supports molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, neuroscience, genetics and bioinformatics.

The Library serves all members of the Harvard University community. In particular, the Library serves the undergraduate population of Harvard, graduate students, staff and faculty of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), the Departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB) and Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) as well as members of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Additionally, the Library is a resource for scholars conducting research in the fields of natural history and zoology. The general public may also use the Library with restrictions.

The Library contains a vast collection of monographs and journals acquired since 1861 in many areas of natural history and zoology. The website for the Library exists as an introduction and guide to the Library for those who may not have easy physical access to it, as well as a gateway to other information sources in natural history and the zoological sciences.