Police are investigating after around 40 books on gay and lesbians issues were destroyed at a Harvard University library.

The texts apparently had urine poured over them and police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

According to student newspaper The Harvard Crimson, an empty bottle was found next to the ruined books in Lamont Library.

The vandalism happened on November 24th and library staff apparently delayed reporting the incident because they wanted to assess the value of the books, which was estimated at several thousand dollars.

All had to be thrown away.

Marco Chan, the co-chair of the Harvard College Queer Students and Allies, said he was “outraged” and added that the vandalism of LGBT books could not be a coincidence.

Harvard College Dean Evelynn M Hammonds said: “Harvard College will not tolerate acts of vandalism, especially those that appear to be motivated by hate or bias.

“[As] a community, we will continue to affirm our shared values of dignity and respect for everyone in our community.”