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The John G. Wolbach Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) Library and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Library, forming one of the world’s preeminent astronomical collections. The joint collection is known as the John G. Wolbach Library at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The principal subject areas contained within the Wolbach Library collection include astrophysics and related topics in physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, geophysics, and engineering.  The Wolbach Library serves the research and technical support staff of the CfA, scientists and students of the Astronomy and other departments of Harvard University, scientists from many universities and colleges in the Boston area and around the world.

The Wolbach Library provides access to information in a variety of forms to CfA staff by building, organizing, managing, housing, and preserving collections; by offering reference services and consultation; by providing services in online literature searches, and interlibrary loan requests; by employing all appropriate technologies for finding and disseminating information; and by contributing to and drawing from remote databases, including the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS).  The Wolbach Library participates in local, national, and international networks and cooperative activities which promote the sharing of information, access to recorded knowledge, and the support and advancement of scholarly communication.

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1848

Harvard College Observatory Collection
Harvard College Library

1955

SAO and HCO

1956

SAO moves to HCO
John G. Wolbach Fund

1959

SAO Library formed

1969

Joyce Watson, SAO Librarian

1971

Library named

1973

CFA formed

1974

Joyce Watson, CfA Librarian

1975

HCO & SAO merge

1985

Committee formed

1987

Recommendations

1990

Governance recommendations

1992

Collections merge

1994

Recommendations feedback

2009

Head Librarian retires
NASA/ADS shares space with Wolbach Library

2010

New Head Librarian

2013

Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT)

2015

Wolbach launches a new website