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


  • Although the library will be closed over winter break (Dec 24–Jan 1), construction work is continuing apace!⁣
Photo on left by Stu Rosner. #houghtonreno #houghtonlibrary
  • We’re counting the days to the release of @GerwigGreta ‘s #LittleWomen. Read about Houghton’s Alcott papers in the @ELLEmagazine article by @andevers. See links in our bio.
  • A (belated) happy birthday to Emily Dickinson, born December 10, 1830!  At #houghtonlib we celebrated with the infamous black cake, taken from ED’s own recipe.
  • A little #snow won’t stop the #HoughtonReno!  Thanks to our friend, photographer Stu Rosner, for letting us share this. #houghtonlibrary #houghtonrenovation #cambridgema #harvarduniversity #winter
  • The Houghton Library Visiting Fellowships 2020-2021 are now open for applications!

The Visiting Fellowship program funds projects that require in-depth research on the library’s holdings.

For more info and to apply, see the link in our bio!
  • It’s #houghtonlib ‘s last day of reading room operations before we close for our year-long #HoughtonReno!  Our doors close today at 4:00 PM EDT and our temporary reading room will open on August 26 at 9:00 AM EDT. Many thanks to #widenerlibrary for making us feel welcome!
  • 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

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RSS Houghton Library Blog

  • “The love of a ghost for a ghost”: T.S. Eliot on his letters to Emily Hale
    By Leslie A. Morris, Gore Vidal Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library On November 25, 1960, four years after Emily Hale told him she was giving his letters to her to Princeton, T.S. Eliot wrote a letter to his Executors with an accompanying document. Revised on September 30, 1963, the document was sealed […]
  • A Missionary Recipe to Celebrate Christmas
    By Rana Issa, Department of English, American University of Beirut, and 2017–2018 Houghton Visiting Fellow I love the archive. Mostly, I love all the wonderful scraps of paper that do not have any direct bearing on the stories I like to tell. Scraps that encapsulate their own story and that may not fit into seamless […]
  • Now in Print: Reconstructing the Personal Library of William James by Ermine Algaier
    A hearty congratulations to 2017–2018 Houghton Visiting Fellow Ermine L. Algaier IV, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Monmouth College in Illinois, who recently published his book, Reconstructing the Personal Library of William James: Markings and Marginalia from the Harvard Library Collection (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Dr. Algaier provides a comprehensive account […]
© 2017 The President and Fellows of Harvard College