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Giving to the Harvard Library

Legendary Collections

Since 1638, generous support of alumni/ae and friends has been key to building and sustaining Harvard's library collections. Nearly 375 years after John Harvard's bequest, Harvard University is the steward of one of the five great libraries of the world. Today, the Harvard collections are peerless in magnitude, global reach, and overall breadth.

Throughout history, the strength of the Harvard collections has been derived from visionary gifts that support acquisitions.

Collecting for the Future

The Harvard Library must reflect the complex world of scholarship and information in the 21st century. Meeting the challenge means that the we must acquire, disseminate, and preserve information in all the forms in which it is created. Today's acquisitions range from traditionally published books to "born digital" objects that exist only in cyberspace. The Harvard Library provides the University's faculty, students, and researchers—now and in the future—with comprehensive access over time to all of these materials.

New levels of support are needed to strengthen traditional as well as digital collections and to acquire materials worldwide.

Unique Materials

Harvard's library holdings embrace thousands upon thousands of individual items that are historical, rare, or unique. These materials range from illuminated manuscripts and the earliest of printed books to photographs gathered since the dawn of photography, as well as personal papers and organizational records, cartographic holdings from around the world, and much more. The experience of working with materials has long been an irreplaceable part of a Harvard education.

Increasing access to unique materials demands increased investment in preservation and digitization.

Outstanding Services

Legendary collections linked to high levels of service lead to effective learning, cutting-edge research, and new knowledge. The University must retain and cultivate an exemplary cadre of librarians, archivists, technologists, and other dedicated professionals who serve the University with tremendous skill and innovation. It is in the hands of these extraordinary individuals that the Harvard collections come alive every day.

Underwriting for strategic positions across the library system adds important value to Harvard's legendary collections.

Meaningful Opportunities

The Harvard Library provides each donor with the unique opportunity to make a gift that reflects personal interests and intellectual commitments. The Harvard Library will work with you to create a gift that is meaningful to you and to Harvard students, faculty, and researchers.

  • Endowment opportunities, which begin at $100,000, offer special benefits to donors and library patrons alike.
  • Gifts of any size are vital in addressing ongoing challenges and meeting today's needs.
  • If you are an alumnus/a, you will receive full class credit for your library gift or pledge.

All gifts to the Harvard Library are tax-deductible under the full extent of the law. You may receive additional tax benefits by making a gift of securities. Please contact the Harvard Management Company at security_gifts@hmc.harvard.edu or 866.845.6596.

Giving to the Harvard Library

To make a gift online, please visit http://alumni.harvard.edu/give/how-to-give.

Or, you may send your gift or pledge to:

Peggy Davis Molander
Director of Development
Widener Library 110
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Planned gifts provide an opportunity for you to make a significant gift to the Harvard Library while preserving income or principal for yourself or your heirs. To learn more, contact the Planned Giving Office at http://www.haa.harvard.edu/pgo or 800.446.1277.

Thank you for your generosity.


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"A great collection of books, like a museum of natural history or archaeology, is not only to be made useful to the present generation, it is also to be transmitted safely to future generations."

—Charles William Eliot, 1873