Supplementary and Complementary
References to food purchased, stored, cooked, and consumed appear in a variety of Archives' collections, from University records to student diaries:
College Books, 1636-1827 College Book 4, 1686-1750 contains meeting minutes discussing the price of food and other commodities. College Book 7, 1750-1778 contains meeting minutes discussing the cost of various foods and changes in what was served at Commons. College Book 8, 1778-1803 contains a detailed account of harm done to College property during the American Revolutionary War, listing food, drink, fuel, and other supplies belonging to the College that the American Army consumed during the war.
Records of the Board of Overseers: Minutes, 1707-1932 This collection contains the official minutes of the Harvard University Board of Overseers' meetings held from 1707 to 1932. Topics discussed at meetings included the cost, quality, quantity, and presentation of food. Use the Tolman Index to search Overseers' minutes from 1707 to circa 1870.
Papers of [Harvard president] John Thornton Kirkland, 1788-1837 and undated Harvard University letterbooks include comments on the mixed quality of food served to students at Harvard in 1811. Commonplace books include a food survey (Box 2, Folder 3) completed in 1819 to evaluate the quality of the food served to Harvard students.
Records of the Office of News and Public Affairs : Photographs, 1913-1995 (inclusive), 1943-1983 (bulk) Contains images of dining facilities, kitchen space, and storage areas.
Diary of Henry Flynt, 1723-1747 Tutor Henry Flynt's diary provides a detailed account of pre-revolutionary life in New England, and at Harvard in particular. Its entries detail the cost of food and drink.
Papers of Samuel Shapleigh, 1739/1740-1800 Includes receipts for food, drink, and having food made.
Diaries of Benjamin Guild, 1776, 1778 The daily entries describe the food Guild ate (including strawberries, currants, watermelon, English cherries, and lobster).
Papers of Daniel Appleton White, 1793-1803, 1837 A memoir, written by White in 1837, describes his undergraduate years at Harvard from 1793 to 1797; among the topics described is food.
Account book of Andrew Croswell, 1794-1802 Croswell indicates the cost of the following, among many other expenses: fruit; wine, brandy and rum; cheese; coffee and tea; butter; lemons; sugar; and wafers.
Diary of Elias Mann, 1796-1800 This diary kept by Mann as an undergraduate student includes entries describing dinners at taverns; gathering, and sometimes taking from others' gardens, food (most often plums, peaches, nuts and apples); and what he ate (including one breakfast of three raw eggs and two glasses of wine).
Papers of Henry Ware, Sr., 1783-1842 The financial journal, 1797-1804, includes a small number of food recipes.
Letter from John Tudor Cooper to General John Cooper, October 22, 1808 Cooper provides candid descriptions of the students' dining hall and the occasional chaos that ensued when they were served food of poor quality.
Correspondence of James Max Rosenthal, 1905-1907 Rosenthal discusses the cost and variety of food service at Harvard’s Randall Hall and the restaurants he frequented in Boston.