The Germanic Research Web is a robust research guide for Germanic Studies at Harvard University created by librarians in the Harvard College Library for students and scholars of Germanic Studies. It includes links to resources in literature, arts and culture, history, language pedagogy, philosophy, and much more. Many full-text databases are found there.
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.
A unique and important resource is the Busch-Reisinger Museum. Works in the collection range from medieval to contemporary and focus especially on early twentieth-century German art. The museum houses major Expressionist masterpieces as well as an extensive Bauhaus archive. To make an appointment to see works not on display, call the museum office at (617) 495-2317.
The Program for the Study of Germany and Europe at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies is concerned with European and German politics, economics, society, and recent history. The Center has a library and offers many lectures and workshops on European and German affairs. It is located in Adolphus Busch Hall, the original home of the German department at Harvard.
The Humanities Center sponsors lectures, readings, conferences, workshops, and ongoing seminars, providing a locus for interdisciplinary discussions among Harvard faculty, faculty from other area institutions, graduate students, undergraduates, and the public. Professors Buchloh, Hamilton, and Ryan chair the German Studies: New Perspectives seminar. Other current seminars that may be of interest to students in German include Dialectical Thinking in the Humanities; Rethinking Translation; Politics, Literature, and the Arts; Medieval Studies; Gender and Sexuality; Architecture and Knowledge; Cognitive Theory and the Arts; History of the Book; Modernism; Visual Representation, Materiality, and Medium; Cultural and Humanitarian Agents; and many more.
In addition to regular course offerings, students of film studies at Harvard have access to the Humanities Center's ongoing film studies workshop as well as the extraordinary collection of German films at the Harvard Film Archive.
The Goethe-Institut Boston offers a wide variety of exhibitions, films, concerts, and lectures on all aspects of Germany and its present and past culture, and the Scandinavian Library likewise hosts lectures, a Nordic film series, and a weekly coffee hour.