Houghton Library opened its doors in 1942. Throughout 2017, we are celebrating the library’s world-class collections, and support of research and teaching over the last 75 years. Join in the celebrations by participating in our year-long program of events that promises visitors a unique glimpse of some of Houghton’s most treasured holdings:

  • Three exhibitions showcasing highlights from Houghton's collection selected by Harvard faculty, and the library’s curators, archivists and librarians
  • Film series screening movies inspired by or connected to Houghton’s literary archives
  • Houghton Library at 75, a new guide to the collections
  • Houghton Library: Who Cares? A 75th Anniversary Symposium exploring why and how curators, conservators, artists and researchers care for special collections
  • Weekly tours, and special events

For updates, check back here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Current Exhibition

Happening @ Houghton

Special Events


  • Need Saturday night plans that are out of this world? (Yeah, sorry....)
Join our friends @harvardmuseum for a Lunar Soirée at the Harvard Museum of Natural History! Celebrate the anniversary of the 1969 moon landing with lunar exhibits, moon-inspired demonstrations and activities, 60s music, and drinks and snacks!  Advance tix required; visit and navigate to HMNH Events. 
Make your whole day moon-themed by visiting @houghtonlib for the Small Steps, Giant Leaps exhibit at 4:30 for a guided tour by curator John Overholt, and then a screening of The Right Stuff at the @harvardfilmarchive!

#harvardartmuseums #apollo50th #harvardfilmarchive #apollo11 #nationalaeronauticsandspaceadministration #1969moonlanding
  • Time for #moonlandingmondays with #houghtonlibrary! Today, the Wapakoneta Daily News, #neilarmstrong ’s hometown newspaper, celebrates the local hero with the headline “Neil Steps on the Moon” over a beaming photo of his parents.
  • A belated post for  #moonlandingmondays at #houghtonlibrary: #apollo11 mission patch designed by Michael Collins. His original focus on America’s national bird, the eagle, appeared warlike, so he added an olive branch to the bird’s talons to convey the peaceful nature of the mission. #apollo50
  • It’s time again for #moonlandingmondays! This week’s images depict the front and back of the star chart used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to calibrate Eagle’s guidance system soon after landing on the surface of the moon. The chart is notable for the presence of planet Earth among the stars, as well as for the moon dust coating the back of the Velcro patch. #houghtonlibrary #apollo50th
  • For the last few days of #pridemonth , we’re showcasing items from our collection of LGBTQ pins and buttons, ca. 1969-2005 (MS Am 3131). #houghtonlibrary
  • For the last few days of #pridemonth , we’re showcasing items from our collection of LGBTQ pins and buttons, ca. 1969-2005 (MS Am 3131). #houghtonlibrary
  • For the last few days of #pridemonth , we’re showcasing items from our collection of LGBTQ pins and buttons, ca. 1969-2005 (MS Am 3131). #houghtonlibrary
  • Welcome back to #moonlandingmondays at #houghtonlibrary!  Today’s image: American flag carried by Neil Armstrong in his Personal Preference Kit and mounted on a commemorative certificate signed by all three Apollo 11 astronauts.
  • Juneteenth commemorates the June 19, 1865 emancipation of enslaved Texans, a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The years leading up to the end of race-based chattel slavery were marked by political struggles in the fight for human rights. This 1850 anti-slavery broadside from the collection of Abolitionist Wendell Phillips protests the Fugitive Slave Act, playing on William H. Seward's appeal to a "higher law" than the constitution with regard to the enslavement of African Americans. Cruel "King Slavery' sits on a throne of skulls, religious text, and legislation ignoring the Seward's plea, surrounded by the suffering of enslaved African Americans. Broadsides such as this were distributed in Northern cities to bring attention and support to the long battle for Emancipation. (MS Am 1953, 1613).#Juneteenth #Abolition #Emancipation

Follow Us!

RSS Houghton Library Blog

  • New Pages to Turn: Recent Additions to Houghton’s Theodore Roosevelt Collection
    By Gregory Wynn In his recently published memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Robert Caro recounts that an early career admonishment from an editor to “turn every page” while investigating a story was one of the best pieces of advice he had ever been given (Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing, 2019, p. 11). This call to thoroughness and […]
  • A Mysterious Manuscript in a Banned Language
    By Christine E. Jacobson, Assistant Curator, Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library Houghton recently acquired a nineteenth-century bilingual manuscript of Ukrainian and Russian folk songs and verse. At first glance, the work seems unremarkable. At 370 pages, it contains over 120 poems and songs, including well-known works by Alexander Pushkin and Taras Shevchenko as well […]
  • On the Shoulders of Giants: Scientific Innovation and the Apollo 11 Mission
    This post is a condensed version of an essay from the catalogue of Houghton Library’s most recent exhibition, Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Apollo 11 at Fifty, which is on view from April 29 ­­– August 3, 2019. Follow us on Instagram, where we will feature images from the exhibition every Monday during its run. In […]
© 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College