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Langdell HallCollections, Research, Service—providing access to the world’s legal information

The mission of the Harvard Law School Library is to support the research and curricular needs of its faculty and students by providing a superb collection of legal materials and by offering the highest possible level of service. To the extent consistent with its mission, the Library supports the research needs of the greater Harvard community as well as scholars from outside the Harvard community requiring access to its unique collections.


  • The Library acquires, catalogs, preserves and makes available a world-class collection of both contemporary and historical legal materials. The Library strives to collaborate with other libraries at Harvard as well as libraries at other law schools and institutions to work toward common goals of continued access and long-term preservation of legal materials.
  • The Library upholds the highest standards of excellence in technical services. The Library provides leadership in all aspects of technical services, including metadata theory and application; e-resource acquisition and management; processing of manuscript, historical and special collections; and conservation and preservation.
  • The Library offers research assistance and instruction to all its patrons. In addition, the Library provides a suite of faculty services aimed at providing curricular support, including assistance with special projects and consultations with experts in educational technology and instructional design; a sense of community and support for those working on empirical research and teaching; and publication support, including implementation of the Harvard Law School Open Access Policy.
  • The Library explores and develops new and innovative technologies for the discovery and delivery of information to its patrons. The Library is committed to digitizing its historical and special collections and to making them openly available to the world.
  • The Library provides a comfortable, inviting facility to its patrons. The Library continuously explores new and innovative modes of access to its collections such as e-book readers and print on demand.
  • The Library is committed to building a diverse community and to providing opportunities for staff to learn from each other and from external sources and to collaborate both across the organization and with other institutions.