From the Collections of Harvard College Library, Events and Exhibitions 2016



José del Castillo, portrait of Miguel de Cervantes, 1780. Houghton Portrait File

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616): Later Works and Legacy
It is a striking coincidence of literary history that the cornerstone figures of English and Spanish literature died within days of each other in the spring of 1616—William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. We mark the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’ death with an exhibition of works from the last years of his life, as well as translations and adaptations that show the enduring legacy of his writing in the years following. The exhibition draws on Houghton’s outstanding collection of Cervantes’ works, formed principally by Carl T. Keller (AB 1894). In addition to first editions of Novelas exemplares, Persiles y Sigismunda, and Ocho comedias, the exhibition contains the first translations of Don Quixote into French, Dutch, Italian, and English.

Amy Lowell Room, Houghton Library



The Shepherd Boy Playing the
Short Flute Li Keran shu hua quan ji = Album of Li Keran's calligraphy and paintings. [Tientsin] : Tianjin ren min mei shu chu ban she, 1991 (Fine Arts Library: Rubel | AA607 L688S v 2F)

One Hundred Years of Chinese Piano Music

This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the first publication of piano music in China. To commemorate the occasion, the Shanghai Conservatory Press produced a ten-volume anthology of piano works by Chinese composers which documents the evolution of expression from a relatively simple use of pianistic techniques to a gradual assimilation of Western musical styles. This exhibit traces that development by showcasing signature works and personalities along with milestone events in that eventful century of piano music in China.

Please contact Patricia OBrien, with any questions.

French Gallery, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library



Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet, ca. 1899. MS Thr 446 (38). Gift of Frederick R. Koch, 1983

Shakespeare: His Collected Works
Harvard has long honored the connection between Katherine Rogers, John Harvard’s mother, and William Shakespeare, both natives of Stratford-upon-Avon. As early as 1723, Shakespeare’s collected works were available to Harvard students in a single edition; since then, the college’s collection has grown to embrace the fullness of the dramatist’s literary and cultural legacy. To commemorate the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s death, this exhibition presents over eighty rare and unique objects—many never before seen—drawn from the Harvard Theatre Collection and other library departments.  On view will be important early editions including the iconic First Folio owned by Harry Elkins Widener; creative respondents to Shakespeare from his eighteenth century editor and critic Samuel Johnson through the modernist poet E. E. Cummings; theatrical memorabilia highlighting the careers of great Shakespearean actors and actresses; in addition to an arresting array of visual material that trace the development of Shakespearean stagecraft over four centuries. Play a part in the worldwide celebration of Shakespeare in 2016 at Houghton Library.

Opening reception on Tuesday, February 9 from 7-8 p.m. in the Edison and Newman Room, Houghton Library

For more information, contact Dale Stinchcomb at

Edison and Newman Room, Houghton Library


by J. Cóvens et C. Mortier

Jaguar, capybara and tapir, from Praefectura de Çîrîiǐ̂, vel Seregippe del Rey cum Itâpuáma, by J. Cóvens et C. Mortier, 1721

Embellishing the Map: Empty Spaces and Treacherous Waters
This exhibition is an exploration of the imaginative imagery that early cartographers used to populate the unknown areas of the world.  Including dragons, sea monsters and flying turtles.

Map Gallery Hall, Pusey Library


An Unquiet Harpist, Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Diana Im. First Prize for People and Best in Show.

An Unquiet Harpist, Buenos Aires, Argentina,
by Diana Im. First Prize for People & Best in Show.

Harvard College
Annual International Photo Contest

Photos taken by Harvard students who have studied, worked, interned, or done research abroad during the past year are on exhibit. For more information on the contest, see the photo contest page.

Level B, first and third floor display cases,
Lamont Library (Hours)
For details contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455


1933 Goudey Baseball card no. 118 (Valentine J. (Val) Picinich, Brooklyn Dodgers)

Shostakovich, Dmitri. Nos: opera v 3 deistviakh, 10 kartinakh. Soch. 15. Predlozhenie dlia penia s fortepiano avtora. [The Nose: opera in 3 acts, 10 scenes. Op. 15. Reduction for voice and piano by the composer.] Moskva: Muzyka, 1974.

2015 Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art
The Philip Hofer prize is awarded each year to a student at Harvard whose collection of books or works of art best exemplifies the traditions of breadth, coherence, and imagination represented by Philip Hofer, A.B. '21, L.H.D. '67, founder and first Curator of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts in the Houghton Library and Secretary of the Fogg Art Museum. The prize, which is to encourage student interest in collecting, was established in 1987 by Melvin R. Seiden, A.B. '52, L.L.B. '55. Students competing for the prize submit an annotated list or bibliography and an essay describing the scope, contents, and goal of the collection. On exhibition are samples of this year’s first prize winning collection,  Formalists! Musical Scores of Suppressed Soviet Composers, submitted by Alexander P. Ioffreda, Harvard College, Class of 2015.

Third floor display cases, Lamont Library,
For details, contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455


2015 Undergraduate Book Collectiong Prize

Garrigues, Richard, and Robert Dean.
The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide.
Ithaca, NY:
Comstock Pub., 2007, page 147.

2015 Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize
Established in 1977, the Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting recognizes and encourages book collecting by undergraduates at Harvard. Students competing for the annual prize submit an annotated bibliography and an essay on their collecting efforts, the influence of mentors, the experience of searching for, organizing and caring for items, and the future direction of the collection. On display are samplings of the collections of this year's prize-winning entries, along with personal commentary.

Second and third floor display cases, Lamont Library
For details, contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455



Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet, ca. 1899. MS Thr 446 (38). Gift of Frederick R. Koch, 1983

Editing Shakespeare for the Digital Age

by Stephen Greenblatt, John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University

With Misha Teramura and David Nee, Doctoral Candidates in the Department of English, Harvard University

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Thompson Room, Barker Center, Harvard University
Seating is limited

The lecture will be followed by an opening reception at Houghton Library for Shakespeare: His Collected Works, a major exhibition to mark the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s death.

For details contact Monique Duhaime at

The George Parker Winship Lecture Series is supported by the fund established by former members of the John Barnard Associates.


Edmund Fry, Pantographia, 1799

Edmund Fry, Pantographia, 1799

Alphabet Histories

by Johanna Drucker

Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 5:30 p.m., Lamont Library, Forum Room, followed by a reception at Houghton Library, Edison and Newman Room.

No R.S.V.P. required. This event is open to the public. Attendees without a Harvard ID will need to check in with the guard at the front desk.

Our knowledge of the origins, development, and potency of the alphabet depends upon various modes of knowledge transmission: textual, bibliographical, graphical, antiquarian, archaeological, paleographical, and digital. Each mode constitutes the object of study differently. The challenge in contemporary scholarship is to respect the cultural otherness of the past and the medium specificity of knowledge production and find ways of presenting synthetic but particularized analysis of evidence. Who knew what, when, and how about the alphabet--and how does that impact our current understanding of the now nearly-global reach of a graphical notation system that arose among nomadic tribes in the ancient Middle East almost four millennia ago.

Johanna Drucker is the inaugural Martin and Bernard Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She has published and lectured widely on topics related to digital humanities and aesthetics, visual forms of knowledge production, book history and future designs, graphic design, historiography of the alphabet and writing, and contemporary art. Her most recent titles include the jointly authored Digital_Humanities (MIT, 2012) with Anne Burdick, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp (just released in Italian translation, 2014); SpecLab: Projects in Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing (Chicago, 2009); What Is? (Cuneiform Press, 2013) and Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard University Press, 2014). A retrospective of her books, Druckworks: 40 years of books and projects, began at Columbia College in Chicago in 2012 and travelled for two years. In 2014 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

For details contact Monique Duhaime at, 617-495-2441 or Peter Accardo,, 617-496-4027

The George Parker Winship Lecture Series is supported by the fund established by former members of the John Barnard Associates.

Continuing Exhibitions

Mercator Globes
Exhibition includes Gerard Mercator's terrestrial (1541) and celestial (1551) globes that reflect new discoveries in world geography and cosmography as well as new techniques in charting, printing, and globe making. Only 22 matched pairs survive, Harvard's being the only matched pair in America.

Mercator Case, Map Gallery Hall
For details call the Map Collection at 617-495-2417