Widener Library

Widener Library Collections


Widener Library holds one of the world's most comprehensive research collections in the humanities and social sciences. These remarkably diverse collections of books, journals, microforms, films, pamphlets, posters, audio recordings, electronic resources, and ephemera numbering in the millions are the result of deliberate, systematic, forward-looking acquisitions amassed over hundreds of years, a process that today remains a vital part of the library's mission.

The humanities and social sciences collections of the Widener Library are represented by distinguished holdings in the history, literature, public affairs, and cultures of five continents. Of particular note are the collections of Africana, Americana, European local history, Judaica, Latin American studies, Middle Eastern studies, Slavic studies, and rich collections of materials for the study of Asia, the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, and Greek and Latin antiquity. These collections include significant holdings in linguistics, ancient and modern languages, folklore, economics, history of science and technology, philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

The holdings include major research materials in more than 100 languages collected from virtually every country in the world. As a result of the library's extensive efforts to accumulate these materials, the Widener Library serves as an efficient instrument of scholarship for researchers from Harvard and elsewhere.