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Collecting at Houghton Now

Houghton Library, Edison and Newman Room
Mon., Mar. 20, 2017

Houghton Library opened its doors for research 75 years ago. Built to house 125,000 rare books accumulated over the centuries by Harvard, within its first year Houghton acquired more than 8,000 printed books in addition to manuscripts and autograph letters.

Since 1942, Houghton’s founding collections have been greatly augmented by a curatorial team whose responsibilities are now divided by period or theme. Today’s curators balance consolidating Houghton’s areas of traditional strength, and forging new directions to better serve the library’s mission to support teaching and research.

Multiple factors influence curatorial choices in building Houghton’s holdings, including changing curricular demands and an increasingly diverse student body; new and emerging trends in scholarship; once-in-a-lifetime acquisition opportunities and available funds; collaborations with faculty and other Harvard libraries, and the generosity of donors.

This exhibition introduces you to Houghton’s curators, showcases some of their recent acquisitions, and reveals their plans for the future of the collections.

Collecting at Houghton Now is open through March 30, 2017. Click here for library hours.

We’re having a party and you’re invited!
Collecting at Houghton Now is part of a year-long series of events, including exhibitions, film screenings, and open houses, in celebration of Houghton Library’s 75th anniversary. For further information on how you can celebrate with us, see

Gazette Classification: Exhibitions

Monday, March 20, 2017 (All day)