Religion Collections at Harvard

Harvard Divinity School Library

Established more than 200 years ago at the Harvard Divinity School, the Divinity Library is the resource hub for the study of religion at Harvard. Its collections support the study of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religious traditions; the many approaches to the study of religion practiced by Harvard scholars; and the study of religion in relation to other disciplines and practices, such as politics, ethics, women’s studies, gender studies, social sciences, philosophy, history, literature, the arts, pastoral care, and ministry. Historical collection strengths include Protestant Christianity, Unitarian Universalism, and Biblical Studies. Additional areas of collecting emphasis since the second half of the twentieth century include Women’s Studies in Religion, the relation of religion to ethnicity and to LGBTQ studies, the ecumenical movement, interreligious communication, and religion and peace-making.

Widener Library

The largest library at Harvard, Widener maintains many important collections for the study of religion. Major strengths include its broad and deep collections in Judaica, Islamic Studies, Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Asian religious and philosophical traditions. Widener also maintains some of the world’s best research collections in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Classical Antiquity, Medieval Studies, Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, Asian Studies, African Studies, Latin American Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, Psychology, Folklore, Mythology, and much more.

Other Harvard Libraries and Collections

Nearly all of the other Harvard libraries also include materials related to some aspect of the study of religion. Worthy of special note are the collections in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other Asian languages at the Harvard-Yenching Library; the world-class collection of Islamic law (Sharia) at the Harvard Law School Library; materials on the anthropology of religion and on indigenous religious traditions at the Tozzer Library; and the major collections on the history of women in America at the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute. More information about these and the many other Harvard libraries is available at Harvard Library. Also worthy of note are important collections of artifacts and works of art related to the study of religion maintained by the many Harvard Museums.