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Houghton Library printed book provenance file, A-D

Houghton Library. Houghton Library printed book provenance file, A-D: Index.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Houghton Library printed book provenance file, A-D
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Houghton Library.
Title: Houghton Library printed book provenance file, A-D,
Date(s): 1942-1992.
Quantity: 1 collection
Quantity: 1 collection
Abstract: Index to ownership/provenance information, primarily from printed books, held by Houghton Library.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Houghton Library Printed Book Provenance File, A-D. Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Separated Materials

There are separate finding aids for other portions of this index. See OASIS finding aids: hou01530, hou01531, and hou01543.

Biographical / Historical

This index originated as a card file maintained at the Library from 1942 to 1992. The card file was then closed, and information on ownership/provenance was entered only into the records in HOLLIS. As older records are updated in HOLLIS (Harvard's online catalog), provenance information is added, resulting in some overlap of ownership information in this file and in HOLLIS.
The card file consisted of both typed and handwritten cards. The handwritten cards are often difficult to read, and errors of transcription are undoubtedly present.


Entries are alphabetized by the name, or initials, of the book's owner. No attempt has been made to regularize the various forms of the name found. Researchers are urged to check under variant forms of the name.

Scope and Contents

The file indexes ownership/provenance information found in printed books within Houghton Library that were cataloged prior to 1992. A very few manuscript codices are also included. It does NOT include books transferred from Widener Library and still classed under their Widener call numbers (ca. 75,000 titles), or books accessioned but not fully cataloged (ca. 35,000 titles).
Each entry includes the following information: Name or initials of owner, usually as it appears in the book; type of evidence of ownership; author, title, and date of the book; and finally the Houghton call number (e.g. *GC9.W4922.920b, Typ.715.67.274).
Ownership/provenance evidence includes: bookplates (often abbreviated as "plate"); signatures and initials within the book (often abbreviated as "autogr."); monograms; stamps, sometimes on the binding; labels; identified annotations; etc.

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