Photograph of the Harvard Veterinary School and Hospital for Animal, located at Village and Lucas streets in Boston, Massachusetts.  The image shows a group of men and a horse standing in front of the building entrance.

Image source: Harvard University: Eighty Photographic Views Selected from King's Handbook of Harvard University. 2nd Ed. Boston: MA, 1896: Page 29. (HUA 895.45.2. Harvard University Archives).

The Harvard University Archives is....

The Harvard University Archives supports the University's mission of education and research by preserving and providing access, to the greatest extent possible, Harvard's historical records; gathering an accurate, authentic, and complete record of the life of the University; and promoting the highest standards of management for Harvard's current records. The Harvard University Archives collections range from institutional to personal archives, cross five centuries, and represent materials across all formats, from paper to websites.  The collections include holdings from Harvard College as well as the University's graduate faculties, including the now defunct Harvard School of Veterinary Medicine.

Please note that additional materials related to the Harvard School of Veterinary Medicine are located in the Harvard Medical School Archives at the Center for the History of Medicine (Countway Library - Harvard Medical School).

History of the Harvard School of Veterinary Medicine

The Harvard Veterinary School was established in 1882 during the tenure of Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot. Like many of President Eliot's educational reforms, the Veterinary School was an attempt bring the latest science and scholarship to practitioners. Though originally occupying space in the Bussey Institute of Agricultural Science, the School soon moved to a new structure built by the University in Boston's South End at the corner of Village and Lucas Streets.  The handsome brick building included a full-fledged veterinary hospital with facilities for both livestock and domesticated animals.  Dr. Charles Parker Lyman,  F.R.C.V.S. served as both Professor of Veterinarian Medicine, 1882-1901 and Dean of the Veterinarian School from 1886-1901.  Many of the instructors also held appointments in the Harvard Medical School or Faculty of Arts & Sciences.  The School had about 130 graduates in its two decades of operation.  The School was not able to establish endowment funds and was closed by the University due to fiscal concern for its long-term viability.

Purpose of this Research Guide

Purpose of this resource guide is to help researchers locate resources about the short-lived Harvard School of Veterinary Medicine held by the Harvard University Archives.  While this research guide is thorough, it is not exhaustive.

When possible, this research guide provides links to online finding aids in the tool HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, the online catalog for exploring collection guides, finding aids, and inventories to locate unique materials in Harvard's special collections and archives. If online finding aids do not exist, the research guide provides links to records in HOLLIS, the online library catalog of the Harvard Library. 

Please note that many of the School of Veterinary Medicine publications are not presently included in the HOLLIS online catalog but they are available for research use.  For the items not listed in HOLLIS, you will need to enter your HOLLIS SPECIAL REQUEST Reading Room Request  manually.  See the following webpages to learn how to request materials via HOLLIS SPECIAL REQUEST and the details of planning a visit to the Archives reading room. Please note many collections are held in offsite storage and may require advance notice of at least three business days for access.

For questions about access to specific collections, please contact the Archives reference staff at in advance of your visit.