Houghton Library Publications
Houghton Library is the primary repository for Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts. Collections focus on the study of Western civilization, particularly European and American history and literature. It includes special collections in printing, graphic arts, and theatre (non-circulating).
Materials relating to American, Continental, and English history and literature comprise the bulk of the Library’s collections and include special concentrations in printing, graphic arts, and the theatre. The collections encompass wonderfully diverse holdings such as ostraca, daguerreotypes, and the working papers of living novelists and poets. The series Houghton Library Studies provides a forum for the scholarly analysis of the wide-ranging materials in these collections.
- Harvard Library Bulletin
- Houghton Library Studies
- The John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection, Harvard Theatre Collection
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
Centuries of Books and Manuscripts: Collectors and Friends, Scholars and Librarians Building the Harvard College Library
In 1992 the Houghton Library celebrated fifty years of preeminence with an exhibition devoted to its riches. This work catalogs an astonishing range of books, manuscripts, and curiosities. Taken together, these items illustrate how a still-young institution becomes a repository of centuries of culture and memory.
The Houghton Library, 1942-1967: A Selection of Books and Manuscripts in Harvard Collections
This large and sumptuous volume highlights the diversity and value of the Houghton’s collections. It contains reproductions ranging from ancient and medieval manuscripts to the earliest printed books to the works of some of the twentieth-century’s most important and interesting authors, artists, and designers.
The Practice of Letters: The Hofer Collection of Writing Manuals, 1514-1800
Hofer, Founding Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts in Houghton Library, was amassed one of the great collections of early penmanship textbooks before his death in 1984. Becker’s catalogue tells the story of this collection while amply illustrating the diversity and expressive power of the arts of the pen.
The Work of Stephen Harvard: A Life in Letters
Calligrapher, stonecutter, illustrator, and type designer, Stephen Harvard’s art and craftsmanship were rooted equally in the history of the book and the natural world. At his untimely death in 1988, he left a body of work that explored his dream of an ideal alphabet, “a perfect, proportionate set of images that shine with a pythagorean light,” a dream that Harvard found as compelling and impossible “as the search for perpetual motion.” Becker’s lovingly edited and sumptuously illustrated catalog bears out Harvard’s conviction that typography, which is at once art and craft, must “strive to satisfy the intelligence and not the intelligentsia.”
The Marks in the Fields: Essays on the Uses of Manuscripts
In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Harvard’s Houghton Library in 1992, Curator of Manuscripts Rodney Dennis asked a stellar cast of critics, historians, and curators to write on items selected from the library’s rich trove of manuscripts. The result was The Marks in the Fields, which, in Dennis’s words, combine to highlight “the natural patterns” found in manuscripts of all times and places, patterns that “go on occurring, everywhere and forever astonishing the mind.”
A Houghton Library Chronicle, 1942-1992
This 1992 volume, compiled by senior Houghton librarians, blends documentary with oral history to look back on the library’s origins, the growth of its collections, and the activities of the staff who made it a home for precious books and original scholarship.
The Philip Hofer Collection in the Houghton Library: A Catalogue of an Exhibition of The Philip Hofer Bequest in the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts
In this exhibition catalogue, Philip Hofer’s successor, Eleanor Garvey, explores the rich legacy he bequeathed to Harvard: extraordinary manuscripts, writing manuals, illustrated books, and examples of fine and unusual printing. The objects of Hofer’s fancy constitute a teaching collection and a scholarly resource of the highest kind.
The Merrymount Press: An Exhibition on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Press
Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860–1941) founded the Merrymount Press in 1893, which quickly came to represent the flowering of the Arts and Crafts movement in American book arts. This catalogue demonstrates the breadth and beauty of the Press’s work, and the standard it set for commercial and fine printing.
Five Centuries of Books and Manuscripts in Modern Greek: A Catalogue of an Exhibition at the Houghton Library, December 4, 1987, through February 17, 1988
This work explores the emergence of modern Greek language, thought, and sensibility reflected in Harvard’s collection of Greek books and manuscripts, ranging from 15th century liturgical manuals to Renaissance translations into modern Greek of Homer and other classical authors to the works and papers of 20th-century Greek literary figures.
The Bible in the Twelfth Century: An Exhibition of Manuscripts at the Houghton Library
Among the Houghton’s medieval manuscripts was an exhibition of twelfth century Biblical manuscripts. Light’s catalogue catches the culture of the medieval book at its height, not only in Bibles but in breviaries, lectionaries, commentaries, and works of the Doctors and Fathers of the Church.
Pushkin and His Friends: The Making of a Literature and a Myth. An Exhibition of the Kilgour Collection
In 1987 the Houghton Library observed the 150th anniversary of the death of Aleksandr Pushkin with an exhibition of materials drawn from the extraordinary Russian literature collection assembled by Bayard Kilgour. From this vast trove, curator John E. Malmstad chose books, letters, and manuscripts that illuminated Pushkin’s life, career, and the world of influences and rivals that shaped Russia’s most important literary voice.
George Parker Winship as Librarian, Typophile, and Teacher
As librarian and curator at Brown and later at Harvard, Winship championed the role of rare books in American higher education. As a connoisseur and printer, he promulgated enthusiasm for fine printing among collectors and readers in the early 20th century. This volume collects three talks given in 1997 at a symposium held in Winship’s memory.
Danish Literature: Saxo Grammaticus to Isak Dinesen
A catalog of an exhibition at Houghton Library in 1986 of Danish items, ranging from 1514 to 1942, from Houghton’s collection, as well as items on loan from David P. Wheatland, Janet Jurist, and the Boston Public Library.
Essays in Honor of James Edward Walsh: On His Sixty-Fifth Birthday
Produced in honor of the Keeper of Printed Books at Houghton Library on his 65th birthday, this book includes a tribute by William H. Bond and essays by Paul Raabe, Philip Hofer, Eckehard Simon, Rodney G. Dennis, Karl S. Guthke, Eugene Weber, Ruth Mortimer, Eleanor M. Garvey, Anne Anninger, Hugh Amory, John Lancaster, Roger E. Stoddard, and more.
The Yellow Book: A Centenary Exhibition
This catalog of the commemorative exhibition of the 100th anniversary of the most important and notorious British magazine of the 1890s—the first to market High Culture to English and American audiences through modern advertising strategies—includes a 40-page essay, illustrations, and a checklist of the exhibition at Houghton Library in 1994.
John Keats, 1795–1995: With a Catalogue of the Harvard Keats Collection
A catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition “John Keats and the Exaltation of a Genius” at Houghton Library in 1995 and of the John Keats Bicentennial Conference. The catalog includes a preface by Richard Wendorf and essays by Helen Vendler and William H. Bond.
Spanish and Portuguese 16th Century Books in the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts: A Description of an Exhibition and a Bibliographical Calatogue of the Collection
A catalogue of the 1985 exhibition at Houghton Library of Spanish and Portuguese 16th-century books in the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, with a Preface by Anne Anninger. The catalogue describes 40 items included in the exhibition, while the Bibliography offers information on 210 additional Iberian items in Houghton collections.
New Books by Fielding: An Exhibition of the Hyde Collection
A catalogue of 75 items from the Hyde Collection pertaining to Henry Fielding that were on display at an exhibition at Houghton Library in 1987.
Toulouse-Lautrec: Book Covers and Brochures
This catalogue documents a collection of 24 black and white reproductions of book covers and brochures illustrated by Toulouse-Latrec housed in the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at the Houghton Library. This is a sequel to Philip Hofer’s A Bestiary by Toulouse-Lautrec.
Sources for 20th-Century Music History: Alban Berg and The Second Viennese School; Musicians in American Exile; Bavarica
This catalog highlights material from the Collection of Hans Moldenhauer and the Estate of Rudolf Kolisch that was included in a joint exhibition between the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library, Munich) and Houghton Library in 1988. Written in English and German.
A Letter to Philip Hofer on Certain Problems Connected with the Mechanical Cutting of Punches
A facsimile of a letter from calligrapher, typographer, theoretician, and author Jan van Krimpen to Paul Hofer, Curator of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at Houghton Library, on certain problems connected with the mechanical cutting of punches.
Collector’s Choice: A Selection of Books and Manuscripts Given by Harrison D. Horblit to the Harvard College Library
This catalogue of an exhibition featuring items given by Harrison Horblit ’33, one of Houghton Library’s most distinguished donors, includes materials covering Manuscripts and the Cradle of Printing, Early Arithmetics, Early English Printing, the Scientific Renaissance, Printing and Bibliography, Interesting Bindings, and Early Photography.
Music Manuscripts at Harvard: A Catalogue of Music Manuscripts from the 14th to the 20th Centuries in the Houghton Library and the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
A catalogue of music manuscripts from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries in the Houghton Library and the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library. Includes descriptions of works by Bach, Liszt, Mahler, Mozart, Purcell, Schoenberg, Schubert, Strauss, Wagner, and many others.
A’ Dilettanti delle Bell’Arti: A Decorated Alphabet Engraved by Giovanni Battista Betti, Florence, 1785
This facsimile edition features Giovanni Battista Betti’s elaborate title page, identifying the figures to follow, and twenty-four leaves of plates, each with a different letter of the alphabet, all reproduced at original size.
Fregi e Majuscole Incise e Fuse da Giambattista Bodoni: A Bodoni Keepsake
A facsimile of Giambattista Bodoni’s first type specimen, “Fregi e Majuscole” of 1771, two copies of which were given to the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts of the Houghton Library by William Bentinck-Smith, Class of 1937.
The Art of Adding and the Art of Taking Away: Selections from John Updike’s Manuscripts
A catalog of an exhibition at the Houghton Library in 1987 of a selection of John Updike manuscripts, illustrating how text changes from manuscript to proof to revised edition.
First Impressions: Printing in Cambridge, 1639–1989: An Exhibition at the Houghton Library and the Harvard Law School Library, October 6–27, 1989
A catalogue of the exhibition at the Hougton Library and at the Harvard Law School Library in 1989 celebrating the 350th anniversary of the first printing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each section of the catalogue focuses on a single book: The Bay Psalms Book, the Eliot Indian Bible, and The Laws and Liberties of Massachusetts.
An Institute of the Pleas of the Crown: An Exhibition of the Hyde Collection at the Houghton Library, 1987
An edition of fragments of Henry Fielding’s unpublished treatise on eighteenth-century law, which were displayed at an exhibition at Houghton Library in 1987, including fragments from Harvard, Yale, and the Hyde Collection, now also at Harvard.
The Philip Hofer Collection in the Houghton Library
This book records the proceedings of a symposium held in conjunction with the 1988 exhibition of the Philip Hofer bequest to the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts at Houghton Library. Contributors include William H. Bond, Charles Ryskamp, Arthur Vershbow, William Bentinck-Smith, and Lucien Goldschmidt.
Decorated Book Papers: Being an Account of Their Designs and Fashions
First published in 1942, this book remains one of the standard works on its subject. Loring, a collector and maker of decorated papers, explores the extensive history and use of decorated papers in the book arts. Appendices are devoted to the art of marbling, the preparation of paste papers, and a listing of some early makers of decorated paper.
Leaves from Paradise: The Cult of John the Evangelist at the Dominican Convent of Paradies bei Soest
A pair of leaves recently acquired by Houghton Library presents an opportunity to examine the illuminated sequence composed in honor of John the Evangelist. The richly decorated fragments promise to transform our understanding of the special place of Christ’s “beloved disciple” in 14th-century art, liturgy, theology, and mysticism.
A Garland of Satire, Wisdom, and History: Latin Verse from Twelfth-Century France (Carmina Houghtoniensia)
This book brings into print editions, translations, and commentaries for more than two dozen unique poems (in Latin) from the late eleventh and early twelfth century, preserved in Houghton Library’s anthology known as MS Lat 300. This book offers unparalleled access to the anthology, previously unavailable in English.
Ambrosiana at Harvard: New Sources of Milanese Chant
This collection of ten essays constitutes the proceedings of a two-day conference held at Harvard in October 2007. The conference focused on three medieval manuscripts of Ambrosian chant owned by Houghton Library. The generously illustrated essays explore the manuscripts as physical objects and place them in their urban and historical contexts, as well as in the musical and ecclesiastical context of Milan, Italy, and medieval Europe.
For the second catalogue of materials from the John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection of the Harvard Theatre Collection, John Milton Ward has selected over 2,100 items relating to Italian ballet from the seventeenth through the twentieth century.
The King’s Theatre Collection: Ballet and Italian Opera in London, 1706–1883, Revised and Expanded Edition
The John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection of the Harvard Theatre Collection is comprised of thousands of books, scores, librettos, playbills, illustrations, and ephemera relating to public performances that incorporate music and dance in an essential way. With over 1,600 entries and 40 color illustrations, this volume provides a window into the historical significance of the King’s Theatre to the cultural life of London and abroad.
A Monument More Durable than Brass: Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson
To this day Samuel Johnson (1709–1784) remains a larger than life figure, one whose influence on his time was as monumental as his legacy is enduring. To commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of Johnson, Harvard University’s Houghton Library presents A Monument More Durable Than Brass, an exhibition catalogue of items drawn from the Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson, bequeathed to the library in 2004 by Mary Hyde Eccles.
The King’s Theatre Collection: Ballet and Italian Opera in London, 1706–1883
With over 1,400 entries and 33 illustrations, this volume provides a window into the historical significance of the King’s Theatre to the cultural life of London and abroad, and will appeal to musicologists, historians, theater scholars, and librarians interested in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century opera and ballet.
First Supplement to James E. Walsh’s Catalogue of the Fifteenth-Century Printed Books in the Harvard University Library
Walsh’s pioneering catalogue of the Harvard collection of 15th-century printed books was published in five volumes. The First Supplement describes 202 new incunabula at Harvard: 67 complete or nearly complete copies and 135 single leaves or fragments, representing a total of 173 editions, including 110 not in Walsh’s original five volumes.
From the Great Desire of Promoting Learning: Thomas Hollis’s Gifts to the Harvard College Library
This checklist of Thomas Hollis’s gifts to Harvard College Library documents the generosity and the motives of one of the earliest and one of the greatest donors to Harvard University. Thomas Hollis and his books were the subject of William Bond’s 1982 Sandars Lectures in Bibliography at Cambridge University.
Johnson After Three Centuries: New Light on Texts and Contexts
Johnson After Three Centuries: New Light on Texts and Contexts examines several aspects of Johnson’s career through fresh perspectives and original interpretations by some of the best-known and widely-respected scholars of our time. Included are essays by James Basker, James Engell, Nicholas Hudson, Jack Lynch, and Allen Reddick.
Marks in Books, Illustrated and Explained
In 1984, Roger Stoddard curated “an exhibition devoted to those mysterious traces left in books by printers, binders, booksellers, librarians, and collectors.” The resulting catalogue, Marks in Books, Illustrated and Explained, is cherished by curators, collectors, and scholars for the insight it offers into the making and the use of books.
Tenniel’s Alice: Drawings by Sir John Tenniel for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass
This book explores the work of Sir John Tenniel, the artist who illustrated the first editions of Lewis Carroll’s best-known works. Although Tenniel and Carroll parted ways after publication of Through the Looking-Glass, the artist’s designs fixed in the public’s mind images of Carroll’s characters that thrive down to the present day.
Records of a Bibliographer: Selected Papers of William Alexander Jackson
A Lakota War Book from the Little Bighorn: The Pictographic "Autobiography of Half Moon"
A ledger book of drawings by Lakota Sioux warriors found in 1876 on the Little Bighorn battlefield offers a rare first-person Native American record of events that likely occurred in 1866–1868 during Red Cloud’s War. This color facsimile edition uncovers the origins, ownership, and cultural and historical significance of this unique artifact.
Picturing Emerson: An Iconography
Picturing Emerson: An Iconography reproduces and explores the background of all known images of Ralph Waldo Emerson created from life, including drawings, paintings, silhouettes, sculptures, and photographs in all formats. The book provides dates and commentary, enabling readers to trace Emerson’s visage from the 1820s to the 1880s.
Houghton Library at 75: A Celebration of Its Collections
Houghton Library at 75 offers a tour of the primary repository for Harvard University’s rare books and manuscripts with full-color illustrations. From miniature books composed by a teenage Charlotte Brontë to costume designs for Star Trek, the selections celebrate great achievements in many and diverse fields of human endeavor.