About Rare Book Collection

Every item in the Rare Book Collection at GSD is indexed in HOLLIS, Harvard Library's catalog. Each item is discoverable through HOLLIS and can requested to be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room by researchers both within and outside the university.

The Rare Book Collection at GSD includes rare books, rare periodicals, student theses, faculty publications, GSD publications (including publications that are the product of courses and/or studios), GSD student publications, GSD official registers, and publications related to our archival collections. 

  • Rare Books (including Oversize and Folios) includes publications dating back to the sixteenth century to current limited edition publications related to architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and allied design disciplines. The landscape architecture section also includes years of reports of the boards of commissioners for the design of cities and parks within the United States. 
  • Rare Periodicals include historical journals, journals that have driven theoretical discourse within the design disciplines, as well as some current journals. Also included are journals published by the GSD, and GSD student journals (both current and that date back to the early years of GSD).
  • GSD Student Theses includes student theses that are submitted to the library by the school's academic departments. They date back to the early 1900 (School of Architecture and School of Landscape Architecture), and also include student theses since the GSD was founded in 1936 to today. Current theses are submitted digitally and are linked directly to their HOLLIS records. Go to Find GSD Theses for more information. Please note that theses availability is dependent on student submission. In addition, depending on program/s, the school has not always required theses from students, therefore the library does not necessarily hold all theses produced by GSD students.
  • GSD Faculty Publications includes books by GSD faculty related to their teaching (studio publications and reports), their professional practice, and/or their scholarly production.
  • GSD Publications includes publications produced by the school, its research centers, and also includes a diversity of GSD pamphlets, periodicals or journals published by the school.
  • GSD Student Publications includes student journals that date back to the early years of the GSD to current day publications produced by the student forum, student groups, and/or informal student collaborations. 
  • GSD Official Registers (currently Student Handbook and GSD Courses) include listings of GSD programs and courses per academic year and/or semester offered as required or optional courses by the academic departments and the advanced studies program. These date back to the early 1900, before the separate schools of architecture, landscape architecture and department of city planning were brought together under one roof as the Graduate School of Design. These reference materials are useful for researchers looking for information about courses and/or faculty teaching specific courses at the GSD throughout the years. 
  • Publications related to or about our GSD Archival Collections are included in the Rare Book Collection to document the research carried out using our archival collections, and to complement their depth with a greater breadth of understanding and interpretation.
  • Other (named) Book Collections include publications collected by individuals of whom we hold associated archival collections. Arthur Comey Collection: ACC; Charles Eliot Collection: CE; Cluny Collection: CLUN; Charles Mulford Robinson Collection: CMR; Henry Hobson Richardson Collection: RICH; Reginald Roderic Isaacs Collection: RRI. These books are from archival collections where the books were indexed separately in HOLLIS when the archival collections were accessioned. The collections display in HOLLIS, for example, as "Special Collections CE NA..." (for the Charles Eliot Collection).