The History of Science Library

As with most physical library services, The History of Science Library is currently inaccessible due to CoronaVirus (CoVid-19) public health measures.

Please consult for information on online library services.


Located in the Widener Stacks, level B-East, the History of Science library consists of a limited-access "cage" with non-circulating volumes and an office (S-91) with non-circulating bound journals. The collection is almost entirely pre-1965, although there have been some acquisitions since then, as well as continuous journal acquisition. Significantly, the core of the library consists of the books bequeathed to Harvard by George Sarton, and the original Isis bibliographic cards are still on display--if not in use--in the office.

Nearly everything is cataloged already on Hollis, and while we do not have areas for reading or open stacks, specific volumes can be put on reserve at the Phillips Reading Room. For this service, please send an email to the librarian with your HUID or Widener Patron ID and the volume's bibliographic information. The librarian is on duty some mornings, but anyone venturing a visit should contact him in advance.

Unfortunately, we have no ability to assist with general research queries, beyond the scope of our own collection. Harvard affiliates with general history of science research questions should contact Fred Burchsted (, Widener's research librarian for the history of science. Mr. Burchsted publishes a library resources newsletter for History thrice yearly here:

Persons wishing to request an item from the History of Science Library should send an email to hslib at