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Giving to the Library

"A great collection, like a museum of natural history or archaeology, is not only to be made useful to the present generation, it is also to be transmitted safely to future generations." —Harvard President Charles William Eliot, 1873


Book Donations

Policies for the donation of books or other materials vary among Harvard's libraries. Please contact that repository directly.



Legendary Collections

  • Since 1638, generous support of alumni/ae and friends has been key to building and sustaining Harvard's library collections. Nearly 400 years after John Harvard's bequest, Harvard University is the steward of one of the great libraries of the world. The Harvard collection is peerless in magnitude, global reach and overall breadth. Library staff is unequaled in their support of research, teaching and learning.


Collecting for the Future

  • The Harvard Library strives to reflect the complex world of scholarship and information in the 21st century. Meeting the challenge means must acquiring, disseminating and preserving information in all the forms in which it is created. Today's acquisitions range from traditionally published books to "born digital" objects that exist only in cyberspace.

    Support is needed to strengthen traditional and digital collections, and to acquire materials worldwide.


Unique Materials

  • Harvard's library holdings embrace thousands upon thousands of individual items that are historical, rare or unique. These materials range from illuminated manuscripts and the earliest of printed books to photographs gathered since the dawn of photography, as well as personal papers and organizational records, cartographic holdings from around the world, and much more. Working with these materials has long been an irreplaceable part of a Harvard education.Increasing access to unique materials requires increased investment in preservation and digitization. 


Outstanding Services

  • Legendary collections plus excellent service lead to effective learning, cutting-edge research and new knowledge. The University strives to retain and cultivate an exemplary cadre of librarians, archivists, technologists and other dedicated professionals who serve the University with skill and innovation. These extraordinary individuals make the Harvard collections come alive every day.Underwriting for strategic positions across the library system adds important value to Harvard's collections.


Meaningful Opportunities

  • Endowment opportunities, which begin at $100,000, offer special benefits to donors and library patrons alike. Gifts of any size are vital to meet the evolving expectations of the 21st-century Harvard community.

    If you are an alumnus/a, you will receive full class credit for your library gift or pledge.

    All gifts to the Harvard Library are tax-deductible under the full extent of the law. You may receive additional tax benefits by making a gift of securities. Please e-mail the Harvard Management Company or call 866.845.6596.


Giving to the Harvard Library

  • To make a gift online, please click here.

    Or you may send your gift or pledge to:

    Office of the Recording Secretary
    Harvard University 
    124 Mount Auburn Street 
    Cambridge, MA 02138

    Checks should be made payable to: "President and Fellows of Harvard College."  In the check's memo section, please designate the allocation of the gift (e.g., Harvard Library).

    Planned gifts provide an opportunity for you to make a significant gift to the Harvard Library while preserving income or principal for you or your heirs. To learn more, contact the Planned Giving Office.