Teaching, Learning, and Research
These activities are highlighted in the personal papers of early Harvard presidents, faculty, and students.
Intellectual debates and topics relating to religious instruction appear in the papers of presidents Henry Dunster, Increase Mather, John Leverett, and Joseph Willard. Professors' notebooks, including those kept by John Winthrop and Samuel Williams, document meteorological, climate, and astronomical observations and emerging areas of scientific research. Student notebooks and manuscript copies of textbooks reflect the College curriculum and teaching methods.
Of particular note is a collection of more than 400 mathematical theses, broadside drawings prepared by undergraduates to demonstrate their mastery of geometry and algebra, thought to be the earliest evidence of formal instruction in the use of perspective in North America.
See also the research guide: Early Curriculum at Harvard.
Search HOLLIS, the Harvard Library catalog, to find descriptions and links to online content for 17th and 18th century collections in the Harvard University Archives.
- Use the terms listed below as a subject in a HOLLIS advanced search.
- Use "Harvard in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries" as a title in a HOLLIS advanced search.
Collection finding aids in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery:
- Commencement theses, quaestiones, and orders of exercises
- Mathematical theses
- Papers of John and Hannah Winthrop
- Papers of Samuel Williams
- Papers of Stephen Sewall
- Papers of the early presidents
See also Colonial North America at Harvard Library for online access to 17th and 18th century collections held by the Harvard University Archives and other special collections and archives at Harvard.