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What We Do

The Center is a full service special collections and archives; it encompasses all the activities of a library and a museum.

Acquisitions & Records Management

Over the past hundred and fifty years, curators have selected research resources that they believed had long-term use for research. Today, records managers and acquisitions archivists continue that tradition of collection development for research.

Records management services focus on supporting the creation and disposition of records generated by academic and research activities at the three Harvard Longwood schools. Records management consultations are available for recordkeeping workflows, Harvard Depository storage, organization of electronic records, research data management, and disposition of records of all types and media, including archival appraisal and transfer of records to Archives.

Acquisitions activities focus on personal and professional records of outstanding leaders (both men and women) in medicine and the biomedical sciences, research data that has a high probability of re-use, organizational records of related not-for-profits, and related visual material and museum artifacts with provenance that links it to existing collections or areas in which we are building strength.

Collections Services

The purpose of cataloging and description is to enhance the researcher’s ability to discover, explore, and use research resources. For archives, manuscripts, and museum materials, description is likely to occur at the series or item level using national standards, templates, and vocabularies to ensuring that discovery is as simple as possible for researchers.

Additionally, the collections services program has primary responsibility for the information technology that underlies cataloging, description, and delivery of research resources.

Rare Books

The rare books program is responsible for growing the collection by purchase and gift, cataloging new materials in Hollis and improving existing catalog records, selecting books for preservation, and managing the digitization of the collection as funds allow.

Warren Anatomical Museum

The museum carries out acquisitions, cataloging and description, preservation, research, exhibits and other and public services activities in an integrated fashion, focusing primarily on the museum collections. 

Public Services

The purpose of all Center activities is use, the discovery and delivery of research resources to researchers. The public services program promotes collections, consults with remote and on-site researchers, and delivers resources on-site and remotely. As part of its teaching and learning responsibilities, public services creates exhibits, organizes lectures, tours, classes, and events, and manages the Center’s participation in the New England Fellowship Consortium and the Boston Medical Library-funded Countway fellowship program.