Widener Library

Departments in Widener


HCL Administration

Administrative offices of the Harvard College Library—the major libraries that support the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—are located in Widener Library. The HCL Administration includes the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; the Associate Librarian for Research, Teaching, and Learning; Associate Librarian for Collection Development; and the Director of Administration and Finance for Harvard College Library and Harvard Library.

In addition to their organization-wide responsibilities, the HCL Administration also oversees and coordinates the departmental activities of Widener Library, including Access Services, Collection Development, and Research Services.

HCL Administrative Services offices are housed in Widener and include Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, and Operations.

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Access Services

Widener Library, Room G-30
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Tel: 617-495-2413

Access Services is provided by the Harvard Library.

Access Services actively supports the teaching and research mission of the Harvard College Library by managing programs, projects, and services dedicated to providing access to the Widener Collections, housed in the Widener and Pusey libraries and the Harvard Depository, to members of the Harvard University community and beyond.

The divisions of Access Services are organized by functional expertise.

Collection Management is responsible for the daily operations of Widener stacks including Periodicals stacks, Periodicals Reading Room, Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room, and the Materials Transfer, a division of Collection Management that handles Harvard Depository orders, Tracing, and quality control functions including management of Serials processing and centralized retrievals for Access Services workflows.

Reader Services is responsible for Library Billing & Privileges, Circulation, and the Phillips Reading Room.

Resource Sharing is responsible for Interlibrary Loan and the Scan & Deliver program.

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Collection Development

Collection Development
Widener Library, Room 140, G-60
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
E-mail:: coldev@fas.harvard.edu
Fax: 617-496-8704

The Widener Library collections are focused on support for teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. Collection Development is responsible for the selection of materials published in all countries and languages, excluding those covered by the Judaica, Middle Eastern, and Slavic Divisions; and the Harvard Yenching Library.

Collection Development is organized into the following areas:  Latin America, Spain and Portugal; the Modern Greek Section; South and Southeast Asia; and Sub-Saharan Africa. Librarians in each of those areas select materials for purchase, and guide the acquisitions process with the assistance of staff at the Harvard Library Technical Services.

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European Languages Division

European Languages Division
Widener Library
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617- 496-2568
Fax: 617-496-2902; 617-496-8704

The European Languages Division (ELD) of the Harvard College Library is focused on support for teaching and research in the general social sciences and humanities. The ELD employs innovative and forward-thinking workflows in the building of collections support for research and teaching in the general social sciences and humanities in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard. 

General collections focus
In keeping with the geographical division of coverage at Widener Library, the ELD collects humanities and social sciences material in all formats published in the following areas:  North America (U.S. and Canada), the United Kingdom and Ireland; Oceania, including Australia and New Zealand; Western and Northern European nations with Germanic (including Scandinavia) or Romance languages (including Romania, Malta but excluding Iberia); all Slavic and Baltic countries (including Russia, the former Soviet republics in Central and Eastern Europe) and some additional European nations speaking languages (Albania, Finland, and Hungary).

The ELD collects materials for Lamont Library, including books for pleasure reading in the Farnsworth Room, but does not duplicate the collecting areas of specialized libraries in the Harvard College Library (such as Science, Fine Arts, Music, Theology, and Design)  or more broadly in the schools (Law, HKS, Business, Education, Medicine). 

Distinctive collections and primary sources
In keeping with the evolving platforms and sources of scholarly output as well as networked primary sources, the ELD judiciously continues Widener’s tradition in going further to build tightly-focused distinctive collections of primary sources in direct partnership with research and teaching priorities in FAS.  This has included, among other things, ephemera and medium-rare books on emerging social and political movements in coverage areas, and GLBTQ documents. 

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Judaica Division

Judaica Division
Widener Library, Room M
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-495-2985, 617-495-5335
Fax: 617-496-9112

The Judaica Division of the Harvard College Library has as its mission the documentation of the Jewish people throughout history in order to support teaching and research at Harvard and to serve as a resource for the scholarly community. The division is responsible for acquiring, cataloging, and providing reference and other public services for materials in Hebrew, Yiddish, and other languages, dealing with all aspects of Jewish culture. It maintains the largest collection of Israeli and Israel-related materials outside of the State of Israel.

The Judaica Division strives to make meaningful contributions to the research library community, particularly through sharing Harvard's electronic bibliographic data and by fostering cooperative projects with other institutions.

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Middle Eastern Division

Middle Eastern Division
Widener Library, Room S
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-495-2437

The Middle Eastern Collection of the Harvard College Library has as its mission the documentation of the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus throughout history in order to support the teaching and research at Harvard and to serve as a resource for the scholarly community. The division is responsible for the acquisition, cataloging, and public services of materials from what is broadly referred to as the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Caucasus and from related émigré communities. This includes resources from over 40 countries and in some 60 languages.

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