With over 17 million volumes across more than 70 libraries, Harvard University possesses the largest academic library system in the world. The Widener Library stacks contain an exhaustive collection of works in the humanities and social sciences in over 100 languages, showcasing books from nearly every nation. Other linguistics collections are found in Tozzer Library and in Harvard-Yenching Library, the largest university library for East Asian research in the West.
In addition, the Linguistics Department maintains two collections of books, journals and documents for the benefit of faculty, students, and other scholars affiliated with the department. One is housed in the Linguistics Library in Widener (Room B), and the other in the department Reading Room.
Room B is a quiet, locked study located on the third floor of Widener Library. It serves as an invaluable resource to Indo-Europeanists, housing an extensive collection of books related to historical linguistics, as well as volumes relating to other subfields of linguistics. The Room B collection is non-circulating, and entry into the room requires a valid id. Students and other Harvard affiliates who need to consult works housed in Room B may contact the departmental administrator to request card access.
Linguistics Reading Room
The departmental Reading Room is located in the Linguistics Department on the third floor of Boylston Hall. It is a popular place for students to hold lively discussions, or study quietly in the department. The Reading Room houses the PhD dissertations and AB and AM theses submitted to the department, as well as a collection of foreign language dictionaries and working papers and journals from other institutions. Materials in the room may circulate for brief periods of time, but we ask that users leave a record of items being taken out of the Reading Room in the grey binder provided for this purpose.