Stepping inside Houghton Library on the south side of Harvard Yard feels far more like entering a museum than a typical library. Behind the mesh, glassed-in displays, and roped-off rooms, Houghton Library is the primary repository for rare books and manuscripts at Harvard. Exhibitions are common here and have included the personal effects, notes, books, and other objects of interest from authors such as Copernicus, Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Edward Lear, Dante Alighieri, Tennessee Williams, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Miguel de Cervantes, and Lewis Carroll. Although the items are protected from touch, a lovely intimacy with the books and artifacts can be achieved. Walking through Houghton’s rooms, each piece of history tells its tale as it is carefully and thoughtfully displayed for the viewer to experience. One could visit many times and find something new each time within the depth of Houghton’s materials.

Grad students make impact