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For nearly four centuries, Harvard's libraries, archives, and museums have developed extraordinary collections that reflect the scope and the breadth of the University's world-renowned academic programs. In 2002, Harvard began to open an online window on those resources through the Open Collections Program (OCP). OCP has created six subject-specific, web-accessible collections that can support teaching and learning around the world. Today, OCP collections account for over 2.3 million digitized pages, including more than 225,000 manuscript pages.

OCP's unique online collections do not duplicate individual collections of books or manuscripts. Instead, OCP offers new, virtual collections of thematically linked material selected from numerous Harvard repositories. Each collection is easily searchable on the web.

OCP focuses on historical materials that are often unique. In the words of OCP founder Sidney Verba, "The experience of working with this University's historical materials has long been an irreplaceable part of a Harvard education. Now, by developing subject-based digital collections on topics of contemporary concern, Harvard is making that experience available to students and teachers everywhere."

Established in 2002 with funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Open Collections Program has since received generous support from Arcadia and from Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.



Harvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries imageHarvard in the 17th and 18th Centuries
An online guide to thousands of items—diaries, commonplace books, correspondence, legal documents, University records, drawings, maps, student notebooks, scientific observations, and lecture notes—that form the documentary history of Harvard.

Reading Project imageReading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership, and Reading History
Explore more than 250,000 pages—drawn from 800 books and 400 manuscript selections—that illuminate reading as an acquired skill, a social activity, and a highly engaging individual act.
Supported by Arcadia

Islamic Heritage Project imageIslamic Heritage Project
Over 156,000 pages on a wide range of topics from the 10th through 20th centuries CE from Harvard’s collections of Islamic manuscripts, published materials, and maps.
Supported by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and developed in association with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University

Expeditions and Discoveries Project imageExpeditions and Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age
Field notes, letters, maps, photographs, and published materials relating to a range of worldwide expeditions from 1626 to 1953.
Supported by Arcadia

Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics imageContagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics
Contributes to the understanding of global, social-history, and public-policy implications of diseases, and offers historical perspectives, from 1493 to 1922, on the science and the public policy of epidemiology today.
Supported by Arcadia

Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 imageImmigration to the United States, 1789–1930
Books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other historical materials that document voluntary immigration to the United States from the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 to the Great Depression.
Supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Women Working, 1800-1930 imageWomen Working, 1800–1930
Explore women's roles in the US economy between 1800 and the Great Depression. Working conditions, costs of living, recreation, health and hygiene, and social issues are all documented by original source materials.
Supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation