Thanks for your interest in visiting the library during our renovation period.
To prepare for this renovation, the Houghton Reading Room will closing at 5:00 pm on Friday, August 9th, 2019. We will reopen in our temporary space in the Widener Periodicals Room on Monday, August 26th at 9:00 am.
We intend to deliver most of the same material as we usually make available in the Houghton Reading Room. Delivery time will necessarily be longer, but we hope to be able to keep the collections accessible during our renovation.
If you register as a Special Collections Reader at https://aeon.hul.harvard.edu and place requests in advance in that system with a scheduled date, we will try to have the material waiting for your arrival. We will post more specific information on the Houghton Library website as soon as we know details about the accessibility of particular collections at various times.
In the meantime, here are some frequently asked questions and answers:
Q. How long is this going to take?
A. Construction will begin next September 2019, and the building will be closed until September 2020.
Q. Will the library be closed during this time?
A. We are moving the Houghton Reading Room into temporary quarters next door in the Widener Library Periodicals Room while Houghton Library is undergoing renovation, beginning in September 2019. In preparation for this move, we will be closed from August 10th - August 25th, 2019.
Q. Can faculty continue to teach with Houghton collections during the renovation?
A. Classrooms in Widener, Pusey, and Lamont libraries will accommodate courses that use Houghton collections for teaching.
Q. What aesthetic changes will be made to the building?
A. While the renovation will modernize parts of the building, both interior and exterior additions have been designed with a careful eye to maintaining Houghton’s aesthetic qualities.
Q. Does this focus on accessibility mean that reading room policies will change?
A. The reading room will continue to be open to all researchers regardless of academic affiliation. Those researchers unaffiliated with Harvard or who do not hold a Special Borrower Card will still need to obtain a Special Collections Card from the Library Privileges Office..