Visual and Environmental Studies

Visual and Environmental Studies encompasses a wide variety of artistic fields, from studio art to photography and film. Houghton’s versatile collection caters to all of these areas; the library owns many artists’ books and multifarious photography collections, as well as films. Beginning with more traditional endeavors, Houghton’s large collection of…

Theater, Dance, and Media

Harvard’s newest concentration, Theater, Dance, and Media is a multidisciplinary field that involves the arts and many of the humanities at Harvard. Most importantly, however, it is one of the only concentrations in the 49 Book to have a special, dedicated Houghton collection. The Book, in fact, mentions the Theater…

South Asian Studies

South Asian Studies covers India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. A humanities concentration focused on an area of the world, it is multifarious in its approach to the region: students can focus on South Asia’s history, literatures, languages, religions, and philosophies, as well as any other desired aspect…

Slavic Languages and Literatures

Concentrators in the field of Slavic Languages and Literatures are in luck: Houghton Library has the largest Slavic collection in the world, amassing many rare items that were destroyed through countless intellectual purges in Eastern Europe across the centuries. HOLLIS accounts for almost 140 Russian manuscripts and twenty manuscripts described…

Religion

Religion is well-represented in Houghton’s catalogue. Religious institutions have been patrons of the arts and the letters throughout human history, and the library reflects that through its immense collection of books and manuscripts connected, in one way or another, to human spirituality. Houghton’s archives demonstrate the tangible effect Christianity, the…

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 in store…

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 tracks, besides…

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…

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. The…

History of Art and Architecture

The breadth of the History of Art and Architecture concentration is not lost at Houghton. From theory to practice and covering a wide variety of media and time periods, the library’s collection can help art and architecture history concentrators with almost any research project—and even inspire new academic endeavors. Once…

History and Literature

The History and Literature concentration joins what are probably the two largest fields of research at Houghton Library. As a result, it is easy to integrate historical and literary research in the library, which includes material from all of the regions and time periods covered by the concentration. Below, they…

Folklore and Mythology

Houghton is a receptacle for rare books and manuscripts, but that does not mean that the contents of its collection are exclusively erudite and rarefied. Folklore is an integral part of the Houghton archive, and many collections within the library can be of aid to Folklore and Mythology concentrators pursuing…

English

English literature is one of Houghton’s fortes; it is hard even to begin shortlisting items for undergraduate students to use in research projects within their concentration because of the library archive’s incredible variety and extent. Below is a very small sample of all that Houghton has to offer to the…

East Asian Studies

First of all, it is important to remark that Houghton’s East Asian collection’s reduced (yet still significant) size is due to Harvard’s fractured special collections library system. Yenching Library has most of the university’s holdings about East Asia, but that does not mean that the field is neglected at Houghton.…

Comparative Literature

At the heart of the Comparative Literature concentration lies the ability to explore the world of literature through different languages, genres, and lenses. Houghton’s archive, which houses materials ranging from manuscripts to political propaganda posters in dozens of languages, is the perfect place for undergraduates to conduct research in the…

Classics

Houghton is, of course, a goldmine for Classics concentrators: not only it holds more than 400 Latin and more than 120 Greek manuscripts—including the bill of sale for a donkey from 126 CE (MS Gr SM2223, 009956023)—but it also possesses an enviable collection of other materials in both languages that…