Introduction to the Wolbach Library

About the CfA and the Wolbach Library

The Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) consists of the Harvard College Observatory, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and numerous ground-based and space-based telescopes and observatories. In 1973, the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University formalized their collaboration as the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) to coordinate the related research activities of the two observatories under a single director, George B. Field. Today, the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory retain their separate identities, each responsible to its parent organization, with combined CfA staffs in six research divisions: Atomic and Molecular Physics; High Energy Astrophysics; Optical and Infrared Astronomy; Radio and Geoastronomy; Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences; and Theoretical Astrophysics.

Further background information about Wolbach Library in particular is available on Wolbach's "About" page.

Physical and Digital Access to Wolbach Library 

  • 24/7/365 access to information for CfA staff
    • I.D. card required to enter and exit Library after hours (5 p.m. to 9 a.m. and weekends)
    • 24/7 circulation: Self-check system
  • Books can be checked out for the duration of a semester term, unless recalled, and patrons may have up to 5 renewals (online through HOLLIS, phone the library, or walk-in)
  • Online access is controlled by a "proxy server" and requires a HarvardKey (licensed/copyright protected materials). Online access is restricted to use by faculty, researchers, staff, and students in the CfA community.

How do I request a HarvardKey?

How do I access online journals?

How can I get access to full text articles through library subscriptions when using ADS?

How can I get access to full text articles through library subscriptions when using Google Scholar?

How do I get 24-hour access to the Library? (Also known as: My card doesn't work!)

How do SAO Affiliates physically access Harvard Libraries?

Wolbach Collections

  • HOLLIS Classic and HOLLIS+: online catalog for Wolbach and all the Harvard Libraries
  • Some material is stored offsite at the Harvard Depository, usually with 24-hour turnaround for requests
  • Collections include
  • Special collections information
    • Charts, atlases, ephemerides
    • Dissertations (including most Harvard Astronomy Department dissertations) and Theses
    • Materials in a broad range of subjects: astronomy, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, mathematics, etc.
  • Systematic downloading of large quantities of information is prohibited and can limit access for others
  • See Wolbach's "Search Literature" menu for: 

Wolbach Services