3 columns of uniformed miltary students marching past a statue of seated man mounted on pedestal.

Photograph of the Navy Supply School students marching past the John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard. March 26, 1943.

This research guide provides an overview to the Harvard University Archives’ collections pertaining to the history of the United States military service training programs at Harvard University during World War Two.  These wartime programs were designed to provide training to military specialists and officers and they operated outside of Harvard's normal academic degree granting programs. The participants in these wartime programs did not earn Harvard degrees.

Where possible, this guide provides links to online finding aids to those collections cataloged in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, the online catalog for materials in Harvard's many special collections and archives. If online finding aids do not exist, the guide provides links to collection-level records in HOLLIS, Harvard's online library catalog.  Please note that some of the materials in this guide are not presently included in the HOLLIS catalog but they are available for research use.  For the items, you will need to enter your HOLLIS SPECIAL REQUEST "Reading Room Request" manually.  Please note that many collections listed in this research guide are held in offsite storage and may require advance notice of at least three business days for access.

Additionally, this guide includes references to collections documenting the history of military training programs centered out of the Harvard Business School. Researchers interested in these collections should contact Baker Library Special Collections (Harvard Business School).

Collections Availability

Most of the University Archives' collections are open and available for use. However, restrictions apply to certain categories of material. For questions about access to specific collections, please contact the Archives reference staff in advance of your visit before placing a request.

  • University records pertaining to individuals, including student and employee records, are closed for a minimum of 80 years. This includes evaluative records related to the military trainees and staff found in these collections.
  • Archives of student, alumni, and other associated organizations are subject to the same 80-year restrictions on access.
  • University records in personal archives are subject to the same  80-year restrictions on access required by University policy.
  • Personal archives of faculty, administrators, students, and alumni/ae may be subject to restrictions established by the donor.