About the Harvard Library
The Harvard Library reflects the complete world of scholarship and information. The Library acquires, disseminates, and preserves information in all the forms in which it is created. Today, Harvard's library holdings range from traditional print collections to rapidly expanding inventories of digital resources. It is the work of the Harvard Library to provide the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with comprehensive access over time to all of these materials.
The University's traditional holdings of nearly 17 million volumes are rooted in the 1638 bequest of 400 books from John Harvard. Today, Harvard has more than 70 libraries gathered into a single system that constitutes the largest academic library in the world. Widely recognized as the largest academic library in existence, the Harvard Library is in a distinct class with the greatest libraries in the world: the Library of Congress, the British Library, the New York Public Library, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
FAQ for visitors
Office of the Director
Wadsworth House—1341 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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As a leading research library, the Harvard Library provides scholars and students access to the world of knowledge and expertise to support its use in research, teaching, and learning.