Harvard Libraries

The Harvard Libraries' collections of German literature were initiated in 1819 with a gift to Harvard College by Johann Wolfgang Goethe of an autographed edition of his collected works. The rich resources that Harvard offers in Germanic studies include Widener Library, the largest university library and fourth largest library of any kind in the world, with what many consider the best German studies research collection in North America. Its holdings in German literature, history, and civilization are extraordinary. Of the Harvard Libraries' over 16 million total volumes, about 14 percent are estimated to be in the German language, with extensive holdings also in Scandinavian and other Germanic languages.

Valuable manuscripts and papers from the estates of such distinguished German poets as Hofmannsthal, Rilke, and Brecht can be found in Houghton Library, together with manuscripts from medieval Germany and Iceland. Lamont Library has a smaller collection of literature in the original and often in English translation.