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Rare Books and Manuscripts Department

Overview

Rare Books and Manuscripts Department collections are listed in a variety of catalogs, both off- and online. Several different tools are available to make searching these catalogs and finding collections easier.

To search now, scroll down. To learn more, click the Find Books, Find Manuscripts, or Find Archives tabs.

Online Search Links

Research catalog search box

  • Best online catalog for rare books and manuscripts
  • Easier viewing of keyword search results
  • Default display shows full description
  • About 90% of manuscripts and 30% of all rare books are listed

Catalog search box

  • Good online catalog if searched by author or exact title
  • Must "broaden search" to see full keyword results list 
  • Default view displays partial description only
  • About 90% of manuscripts and 30% of all rare books are listed

Digitized card catalog search box

  • Much more complete than online catalogs
  • Exact copy of physical card catalog
  • Find books and printed materials
  • Limited keyword searching

Digitized manuscript card catalog search box

  • Slightly more complete than online catalogs
  • Exact copy of physical card catalog
  • Find manuscripts and archives
  • Limited keyword searching

Archives search box

  • Search and browse archival finding aids
  • Selected subset of collections are currently listed

 

Digital Commonwealth search box

  • Search selection of digitized BPL special collections
  • High-quality, fully downloadable images

 

Contact & Reading Room Hours

Contact us!

Address:
Rare Books and Manuscript Department
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116

Reading Room Hours:

 

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: 9:30-4:30
  • Thursday: 9:30-4:30
  • Friday: 9:30-4:30
  • Saturday- Sunday: Closed