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Romance and Courtship

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Start your archival research on Romance and Courtship with this guide. Highlighted in this resource are archival collections and published material revealing attitudes, expectations, and realities of courtship and dating in the United States from the 19th century to the present as well as highlights from the Schlesinger's extensive collection of romance fiction.

The material in this guide was found by performing a "keywords anywhere" search in HOLLIS, Harvard University's Library catalog, for phrases such as "Courtship" and "Dating." Additionally, subject searches were performed for relevant headings like "Courtship," "Love," "Love Letters," "Courtship -- United States," and "Dating (Social customs)." For information on how to search our romance fiction collection, see the corresponding page in this guide.

Please use the menu on the left to view additional material related to this topic. 

Take Note

Many of our collections are stored offsite and/or have access restrictions. Be sure to contact us in advance of your visit.

This guide was originally posted by Francesca Scaraggi and later expanded by Rachel Greenhaus.

Archival Collections

The collections below have been selected to demonstrate the range of personal experiences reflected in the Library's collection. In addition to the selected resources below, please visit the Love Letters in the World War II, Wartime Correspondence research guide for further archival material relating to courtship and dating.