Harvard Library

The Harvard Library
Reading Room, Langdell Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.jpg
The main reading room of the Harvard Law School library, in Langdell Hall
TypeAcademic library system of Harvard University
LocationCambridge, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°22′24″N 71°07′07″W / 42.3733923°N 71.1186862°W / 42.3733923; -71.1186862Coordinates: 42°22′24″N 71°07′07″W / 42.3733923°N 71.1186862°W / 42.3733923; -71.1186862
Items collectedmore than 20.4 million volumes, 180,000 serial titles, an estimated 400 million manuscript items, 10 million photographs, 124 million archived web pages, and 5.4 terabytes of born-digital archives and manuscripts.[2]
Size20.4 million (2020)
Access and use
Circulation733,890[3] (2013)
Other information
BudgetUS$250 million (2020)
DirectorMartha Whitehead, Vice President and University Librarian; Roy E. Larsen Librarian for Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Staffaround 800 total (2020)[2]

The Harvard Library is the umbrella organization for the Harvard University libraries and their shared services, such as access, preservation, digital infrastructure, digital imaging, and discovery services. The Harvard Library is nearly 400 years old, making it the oldest library system in the United States. Additionally, the Harvard Library is the largest private library system and largest academic library in the world.[4][5] Its collection holds nearly 20 million volumes, 400 million manuscripts, 10 million photographs, and one million maps.[6]

Harvard Library holds the third largest collection in the United States, after the Library of Congress and Boston Public Library. Based on the number of items held, it is the fifth largest library in the United States.[7] Additionally, Harvard is part of the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP) along with Columbia Libraries, Princeton University Library and New York Public Library, and the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation, making over 90 million books available to the library's users.[8]   

The library is open to current Harvard affiliates, and some events and spaces are open to the public. The most recognized building in the Harvard system is Widener Library, situated in Harvard Yard.

  1. ^ Harvard Library (February 14, 2011). "About the Harvard Library". Harvard Library. Harvard University. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Harvard Media Relations. "Quick Facts". Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Harvard University (2013). "Harvard Library Annual Report FY 2013". Harvard Library. Archived from the original on June 9, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  4. ^ Karl, Thomas (1998). Toward an Earth Science Enterprise Federation: Results from a Workshop. National Academies Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-309-06134-2.
  5. ^ Pezzi, Bryan (2000). Massachusetts. Weigl Publishers. p. 15. ISBN 1-930954-35-2.
  6. ^ "Harvard Library | Harvard University - The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences". gsas.harvard.edu. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  7. ^ American Library Association, "ALA Library Fact Sheet 22 – The Nation's Largest Libraries: A Listing by Volumes Held". October 2012.
  8. ^ "Harvard Library joins forces to bring 90 million books to users". Harvard Gazette. June 6, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.

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