Browse Harvard Library's entire collection of over 15 million items on a single shelf


Developed by the Library Innovation Lab in 2010, StackLife is a virtual browser that allows users to explore the entire Harvard Library collection of over fifteen million items presented as a virtual shelf in call number order. Without Stacklife this would be an impossible feat, as the collection is housed across seventy libraries and two offsite storage facilities. Items can also be re-sorted according to Library of Congress subject headings and when available, the browser also links users directly to the item if it is available electronically.

Each of the items in the collection is heat-mapped to show community engagement; dark blue items signify more frequent use by the Harvard community than those represented by light blue. Examples of use include the number of checkouts by faculty, graduate students or undergraduates; the number of libraries that have a copy of it; how often a work has been put on reserve, etc.

The stack reproduced here, shows the most heavily used items in the Harvard collection in the category “travel.” This particular stack includes 3,018 items, including books, DVDs, and magazines.