Psychology

Psychology is one of the most catholic concentrations at Harvard; classified as a social science, it is at once biological, philosophical, and sociological, tackling the mysteries of the human mind through many lenses and perspectives. Houghton’s collection reflects the universality of psychology, especially its strong ties to philosophy and…

Physics

Much like with sciences such as chemistry, the physics collection at Houghton is very focused on the history of the subject rather than on more practical aspects of the concentration. That is not to say, however, that the library’s material is obsolete. To understand most of the concepts in…

Philosophy

It is a tall order to summarize the wealth of material related to philosophy at Houghton. From a third century CE fragment of Plato’s Republic (MS Gr SM3739, 009957565) to nineteenth century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s papers (MS Ger 51, 000602039), the library seems to have…

Neurobiology

The study of the nervous system—especially the brain—is also an interdisciplinary venture, a fact very much reflected by Harvard’s Neurobiology concentration. Described by the 49 Book as “arguably the least understood and most important area of biology,” it can involve not only the life sciences but also…

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations—composed of four subfields: the Middle East in Antiquity, Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, and Modern Middle Eastern Studies—is a very comprehensive concentration while allowing students to focus on their major interest within the subject. Houghton can provide research material for students in these four…

Music

Though Harvard has the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, Houghton also possesses an enviable collection of items related to the concentration that students can use in their research endeavors. As a cultural phenomenon, music lives within a historical and societal context, and Houghton, besides having scores, is rich in material…

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Like with many of the science concentrations, it is difficult to find modern resources at Houghton that cater to the constant quest for progress in Molecular and Cellular Biology. However, the library has a large historical collection about some of the main topics covered in the field, including epidemiology. Houghton’…

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering is intrinsically linked to the physical world surrounding us, and Houghton’s historical collection most certainly caters to the applied study of physics, chemistry,  and mathematics, as well as to engineering advancements that still aid in making progress on the field. However, the library’s archives and supporting…

Mathematics

The Mathematics concentration at Harvard is focused on the pure, theoretical study of numbers—Applied Mathematics is a separate concentration, focused on interdisciplinary pursuits and discussed above. Houghton has materials serving students in both fields, and the library is especially rich in historical and theoretical material about pure mathematics, which…

Linguistics

With a collection spanning dozens of tongues and more than twenty centuries, Houghton is the perfect place to study human language. A paradise for the historical linguist, the library also contains more than enough material about other areas of linguistics—especially semantics, which is often explored in conjunction with philosophy.…