Updated: Aug 29
Investment advisor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. (1957-2009) assembled the world’s largest private collection documenting psychoactive drugs and their physical and social effects. His interest was broad, from cultivation and synthesis to the many cultural and counter-cultural products such altered states of mind have inspired and influenced. Rich in scientific, medical, legal, and literary works, the Ludlow-Santo Domingo (LSD) Library documents in depth both the benefits of controlled use and the horrors of addiction.
The exhibition, curated by Leslie A. Morris, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library with the assistance of colleagues throughout the Harvard Library system, focuses on eight major topics represented in the LSD Library: opium, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, sex, social protest, underground comix, and ephemera. “The incredible variety of material in the LSD Library has transformed our collection,” said Morris. “The Library can now support innovative new research on 20th-century culture and counterculture. And it’s very cool stuff!”
Sex, another path towards transcendence, is explored through poet Pierre Louÿs’s sex diary; erotica by Rachilde, Guy de Maupassant, and Pauline Réage; the first X-rated comic, Barbarella; and Jeffrey magazine. Works on birth control, AIDS prevention, and the Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, and a female condom, show the individual and social consequences such exploration may provoke.
The LSD Library came to Harvard in 2012. The collection is shared between various libraries at the University; this exhibition includes material from the Botany Library, Countway Medical Library, Fine Arts Library, Harvard Film Archive, Houghton Library, Law Library, Schlesinger Library, and Widener Library. “Since its arrival at Harvard in 2012, the Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library has been one of our most heavily used collections for research and for teaching,” said Thomas Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library. “With this exhibition, we now look forward to presenting selections from this remarkable collection and to welcoming a broad audience of visitors who can engage with and learn from it.”
Programs Complementary events include: – Lectures by Don Lattin, author of the Harvard Psychedelic Club, and Laurence Bergreen, author of Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius – A film series at the Harvard Film Archive Social protest inspired poetry readings and other events hosted by Houghton Library’s Woodberry Poetry Room – Altered Gazes: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll at Schlesinger Library, an exhibition at Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library
Houghton Library Houghton Library is Harvard University’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library’s holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room, and through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications and courses.
Houghton Library is located in Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. It is open Monday, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm, and Tuesday through Thursday 9am-7pm. Houghton Library is closed on Sundays. Exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Media Contact Anne-Marie Eze, Director of Scholarly and Public Programs, Houghton Library firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 617-998-5210