Skip to main content

See also:

The Harvard Divinity School: Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Harvard University's libraries date back to the founding of the school and are among the most impressive in the region. One of the libraries at the school is the Andover-Harvard Theological Library. It is connected to the Harvard Divinity School and part of the university's large network of libraries. This means faculty, students and alum have access to its holdings.

The Andover-Harvard library began with the union of Andover Seminary and Harvard Divinity School in 1910. The separate libraries go back much farther than that, but the library as it is today began then. The original collection included about 100,000 books, the large majority of which belonged to Andover Seminary. The collection also included many pamphlets. The original reference and reading room of the library is now known as the currently the Sperry Room.

Of course, there were libraries at Harvard before 1910. The earliest incarnation of the school was in the midst of a hugely religious time, so a great many of the texts owned by Harvard were religious in nature. However, it was not until the construction of Andover Hall and the inclusion of the now Andover Newton Theological School's books that there was not only a safe place for the reading material, but also an impressive amount of it. Today, the library hosts more than four times its original amount. There are also more than 30,000 books in the rare books collection.