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COLLECTION Identifier: HUF 523.6.73

Documentary History of the Library

Overview

This collection of printed documents, both published and unpublished, reflects the history, growth and management of the Harvard College Library from 1773 to 1879. Documents include Visiting Committee reports, library and sales catalogues, library regulations, circular letters to patrons and alumni, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, fundraising appeals, blank receipts for gifts to the library, and blank forms regarding borrowing privileges, book order requests, and arrival notifications.

Dates

  • 1773-1879

Creator

Conditions on Use and Access

The collection is open for research. Access to fragile original documents may be restricted. Permission of the University Archives is required for photocopying or publishing.

Extent

0.53 cubic feet (1 document box)

This collection of printed documents, both published and unpublished, reflects the history and growth of the Harvard College Library from 1773 to 1879. The documents describe the governance of the Library, its administration and management, the development of collections, patron services, building expansion, and improvements in the cataloging, classification, and organization of the Library’s books, pamphlets, and other holdings during the nineteenth century.

The collection contains Board of Overseers' Visiting Committee reports, library and sales catalogues, library regulations, circular letters to patrons and alumni, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, fundraising appeals, blank receipts for gifts to the library, and blank forms regarding borrowing privileges and book orders.

Of particular interest is the Catalogus Librorum in Bibliotheca Cantabrigiensi Selectus of 1773. With a selected listing of one thousand titles held in the Library, it was the first catalogue to be published after the fire 1764 in Harvard Hall destroyed most of the Library's original collection.

Pencil annotations appearing on some of the documents were probably recorded by librarians.

Arrangement

The material is organized in chronological order.

Origin of the Collection

Some time between 1880 and 1900, librarians assembled these materials relating to the Harvard's libraries, placed them in chronological order, and had them bound into a single volume. The title "Documentary History of the Library" appears to have been assigned at that time.

Acquisition Information

Whenever possible, acquisitions are noted in the document list below.

Related Material

  1. Search HOLLIS (Harvard's online library system) for related publications held both in the University Archives and other Harvard libraries.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2019 April 01.

Processing Information

In 2009-2010, Dominic P. Grandinetti and Juliana Kuipers reprocessed this collection and prepared it for digitization. Reprocessing involved disbinding the volume, rehousing the documents in appropriate archival containers, describing the documents, and creating this finding aid.

Dates for the documents in this collection were derived from the items themselves or from dates assigned to the documents, probably by librarians. Brackets indicate dates and titles assigned by the archivist.

Creator

Title
Harvard University. Documentary History of the Library : an inventory
Author
Harvard University Archives
Language of description
und
EAD ID
hua01010

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard University Archives Repository

Holding nearly four centuries of materials, the Harvard University Archives is the principal repository for the institutional records of Harvard University and the personal archives of Harvard faculty, as well as collections related to students, alumni, Harvard-affiliates and other associated topics. The collections document the intellectual, cultural, administrative and social life of Harvard and the influence of the University as it emerged across the globe.

Contact:
Pusey Library
Harvard Yard
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2461