History - Widener Library - Harvard College Library


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Widener Library History

The Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library is Harvard University's flagship library. Built with a gift from Eleanor Elkins Widener, it is a memorial to her son, Harry, Class of 1907, an enthusiastic young bibliophile who perished aboard the Titanic. It had been Harry's plan to donate his personal collection to the University once it provided a suitable alternative to the outdated and inadequate library then located in Gore Hall. Mrs. Widener fulfilled her son's dream by building a facility of monumental proportions, with over 50 miles of shelves and the capacity to hold over three million volumes.

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For more in-depth information about Widener's history, see: