Linda Hall Library
The Linda Hall Library is the world’s foremost independent research library devoted to science, engineering, and technology. A not-for-profit, privately funded institution, the Library is open to the public free of charge.
The Linda Hall Library is a guardian of the collective intellectual heritage with regard to science, technology, and engineering disciplines; a destination for advanced research and scholarship, and a center for public education in the sciences.
Additionally, the Library’s grounds are maintained as an urban arboretum that is open to the public for education and enjoyment.
The foundation for the Library’s collections was determined by the Trustees who defined the Library’s area of specialization as “covering the fields of basic science and technology.” Clinical medicine, dentistry, and business were excluded since other local and regional libraries collect these subjects.
The collection policy emphasizes the acquisition of journals and other serial publications. Monographs, conference proceedings, indexes and abstracts, documents, technical reports, and other reference materials are also acquired to support the journal collection. Although the Library has regularly acquired material since 1946, several acquisitions are specifically worth noting.
The Library’s first major purchase was the library collection of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1946. This acquisition provided a strong foundation for the Library’s collections including journals, rare books, and the exchange program that supports the interchange of material with foreign academies and societies.
A second significant acquisition occurred in 1985 when part of the library of the Franklin Institute was transferred from Philadelphia. Nearly 600 serial titles were added to the Linda Hall Library, increasing or completing runs of serials titles, and adding new titles.
In 1995, the Engineering Societies Library (ESL) was transferred to Linda Hall, an acquisition equal in significance to the Academy collection, and greater in the number of volumes received. The ESL collection added depth to both the journal and monograph collections, especially with material published before 1950.