Historical Textbooks Collection

Overview

This collection of nearly 45,000 elementary and secondary textbooks covers subject areas from agriculture to zoology. The collection contains materials published in the United States in English from 1776 through 1985. A small number of European imprints in foreign languages are also included.

This collection also contains a number of textbooks focused on reading and teaching literacy, also known as readers or basal readers. Harvard Library's Open Collection Program entitled Reading: Harvard Views of Readers, Readership and Reading History may also be of interest to users.

Finding Content

To search within the Historical Textbooks Collection:

  1. Visit the HOLLIS library catalog
  2. Click “Advanced Search”
  3. Select “Library Catalog"
  4. To view all titles in the Historical Textbooks Collection:
    1. In the first drop-down, select “Code: Library+Collection”
    2. Enter: guthdspect
    3. If you want to see digitized content, refine your results to show only online material
  5. To search within the Historical Textbooks Collection:
    1. In the first drop-down, select “Code: Library+Collection”
    2. Enter: guthdspect
    3. Add one or more search terms to the additional search fields, such as "United States" and "history" for US history textbooks
    4. If you want to see digitized content, refine your results to show only online material
    5. For an example, run the search from the screenshot below in HOLLIS

 

See HOLLIS Quick Tips for other advice on how to save searches, search results and more.

Microfilm Format

Approximately 10,000 textbooks were microfilmed as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. The microfilm reels are available in Gutman Library and can be found by searching HOLLIS.

Outside institutions may borrow microfilm reels through Interlibrary Loan. Copies of reels may be purchased through Harvard Library Imaging Services. The HOLLIS record for each filmed titles contains a filming note and gives the reel and master negative numbers.

Other Historical Textbook Collections

Frontispiece image from Redfield's Zoological Science book.Modern Textbook Collections

Questions?

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