Boston Public Library

Rare Books Department

3rd Floor, McKim Building, Central Library

The Rare Books Department at the Central Library in Copley Square will be closed through November for maintenance. During this time, all Boston Public Library rare books and manuscript materials will be unavailable for viewing. Please note that many items from the Rare Books Department are available online through the Digital Commonwealth or Internet Archive. We apologize for any inconvenience, please check back for updates, once maintenance is complete.
The Rare Books and Manuscripts Department serves as the Boston Public Library's principal repository of rare books, manuscripts and historical artifacts of permanent or enduring value collected for their intellectual content and historical significance. The primary mission of the department and its staff is to preserve and create access to these collections through collection development, cataloging, reference services, interpretive programs and exhibitions, and conservation, in order to make them accessible to the scholarly community and the general public.

Exhibits, Past
Internet Resources
Photo reproduction
Registration Form
Use of the Department