Examples of primary sources in the Archives
The Harvard Universtiy Archives' primary mandate is to preserve and make available the University's permanent administrative records - the institutional archives. But the Archives has a more expansive mission to document the Harvard community as broadly and deeply as possible.
The Archives' collections date from the 17th century to the present. They cover a vast array of topics and formats relating to the immediate University community and beyond. Here are some examples.
- Harvard Charter of 1650
- College Book I
- Harvard University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Courses of Instruction, 1879-2009
- Harvard Extension School website 1996-1997
Personal archives of faculty, students, alumni, and staff
- Journal kept by Williamina Fleming, curator of astronomical photographs at the Harvard College Observatory in 1900
- Observatory staff at work documenting variable stars, ca. 1900
- France, Belgium, World War I, 1913-1919, photograph album from the papers of Robert Woods and Mildred Barnes Bliss. During World War I, Robert Woods Bliss was posted to the US Embassy in Paris while Mildred Barnes Bliss organized war relief efforts.
- Audio recording of John F. Kennedy’s student speech in Harvard College English F, 1937, “Hugo Black”
Theses and dissertations by Harvard students
- PhD dissertation written in 1895 by W.E.B. Du Bois, The suppression of the African slave trade in the United States of America, 1638-1871. Du Bois was the first African American to receive a Harvard PhD.
Records of student and alumni organizations
- Westerly view of the Colledges in Cambridge, New England, 1767 engraved by Paul Revere