The history of the Harvard Library is rooted in the 1638 bequest of 400 books from John Harvard to the College. Today, the Harvard libraries hold the largest academic collection in the world. In honor of Larry Bacow’s inauguration as the University’s 29th president, the libraries will open their doors to share some of their treasures.
In special exhibitions organized just for the occasion, visitors will have a chance to see rare items that illuminate not only Harvard’s past but also that of the broader world — from the oldest surviving record book at Harvard College to Emily Dickinson’s handwritten poems to a Gutenberg Bible to Teddy Roosevelt’s diary.
Plan your visit
Widener Library will offer tours, including the Widener Memorial Room. On view will be items from Harry Elkins Widener’s collection. Widener (1885–1912), Harvard Class of 1907, amassed an extraordinary collection of books, manuscripts, and drawings during his short lifetime. His original library, collected before his death on the Titanic in 1912, consists of approximately 3,300 volumes housed in the Memorial Room. The tours will be Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m.