I present an overview of empirical stellar spectral libraries, their uses, and (briefly) their history. I focus primarily on their utility for understanding the stellar populations of composite stellar systems, but I show examples of their use for topics ranging from the determination of atmospheric parameters of stars outside the libraries to calibration of stellar atmosphere models to stellar radial velocities. I end by presenting the ``state of the art'' of available stellar spectral libraries focused on stellar population synthesis and what still needs to be done in the near future.
|Title of host publication||Astronomical Society of India Conference Series|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- stars: atmospheres
- galaxies: stellar content
- history and philosophy of astronomy