Primary Sources

College commons records, 1765-1829 (inclusive) (1 volume). Call number UAI 15.250 Box 1. This volume, containing chronologically arranged papers mounted and bound around 1840, provides comprehensive documentation of the College commons around the turn of the 19th century.  Note: Document titled Expenses at Commencement, 1782, refers to the “Lemons of the President,” presumably kept in Wadsworth House.

Diary of Benjamin Wadsworth, 1725-1736.  Wadsworth was the eighth president of Harvard College, serving from 1725 to 1737. On May 24, 1726, he noted in his diary, “President’s house to dwell in was raised … no life was lost, nor person was hurt in raising it, thanks be to God for his preserving goodness.” He recorded sleeping in the house for the first time on October 27, 1726, noting “The house was not half finished within.”

Drawings for renovation of alumni room in Wadsworth House, ca. 1935 (Find It @ Archives).  The drawings, probably drawn by A. Osburne Willauer of Little & Russell Architects, consist of a large tracing sheet and five copies of a smaller print created for a client presentation. They show sketches of furniture and furniture placement within the alumni room in Wadsworth House. The drawings are accompanied by an April 1934 form letter from the chairman of the Harvard Alumni Association Committee on Furnishing Alumni Room describing the alumni room and a typewritten list of living presidents of the Harvard Alumni Association.

General information about Wadsworth House, 1846-ca. 1970 (Find It @ Archives).

"George Washington slept here" tee shirt, 1976 (Find It @ Archives).

Harvard College Papers, 1st series, 1636-1825, 1831 (Find It @ Archives).  Volume 6, Item 77. Articles of agreement between John Walton and Josiah Moore and the President and Fellows of Harvard College, March 20, 1810. Contract to build a kitchen, a brick building, and a woodhouse adjacent to the president's house.These additions were built to provide a study for the President, a room for the President’s Freshman, and secure storage for University records. 

Key to a room in Wadsworth House, ca. 1800-1860? (Find It @ Archives).

Manuscript inventory of personal property of the College,1828 (Find It @ Archives).  Per a vote of the Harvard Corporation on January 17, 1828, all officers of the College were required to “return an inventory of the personal property of the College in their custody, including the furniture in the recitation and other rooms.” This volume contains inventories of College property found in bedchambers of proctors and tutors, recitation rooms, the Corporation rooms in University Hall, the carpenter’s shop, the President’s study in the President's House (later called Wadsworth House), the library, chemical laboratory, and chapel. Examples of material culture described in the inventories include furniture, stoves, books, artwork, lumber and tools, wax and other anatomical preparations and drawings, catalogue of the Medical Library, College records and seals, chemical apparatus, mineralogical specimens, silver, wallpaper, and carpets.

Medical account book of Benjamin Wadsworth, 1702-1733.  This volume lists medical remedies that Wadsworth collected, including treatments for bleeding, coughs, hiccups, burns, cramps, sore throats, consumption, vomiting, nosebleeds, choking, worms, colic, and backaches. In the nineteenth century, the volume was owned Joshua Harlow (d. 1859), who copied extracts of land deeds into the book on pages not used by Wadsworth.

Quarterly account book, 1722-1751. Records of the Butler, 1722-1799 (Find It @ Archives). Contains detailed account of services and items purchased for construction of the President's House. The list appears at the back of the College Butler’s account book, but the author of this particular section is unknown.

Wrought iron nails from Wadsworth House, ca. 1726 (Find It @ Archives).