Records of the Office of News and Public Affairs : Photographs
- 1913-1991 (inclusive) 1956-1977 (bulk)
- Majority of material found within 1956-1977
- Harvard University. News Office (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Extent27 cubic feet (103 boxes)
Longer History of the Office of News and Public Affairs
Although the public and the press were interested in this prominent institution, the concept of publicity was controversial at Harvard. When the newspapers' sphere of influence increased dramatically during World War I, the University acknowledged the change by establishing the News Office. In a 1922 paper on college publicity, Allen wrote, "College publicity work is a comparatively new thing. It has developed within the past generation, almost one might say within the past decade, as a result of the increase in the power and prestige of the newspapers. Its development has been especially marked since the war. The war taught people what publicity could accomplish."
Allen recognized the importance of photographs as News Office publicity, and he purchased pictures from Cambridge photographers to send to newspapers. During the early years he had difficulty obtaining the funding to hire photographers. In a memorandum, probably from Allen to his successor, James Seymour, Allen states, "In general I try to give opportunities to photographers to do anything that seems reasonable, although there is a ridiculous prejudice among many people around here against newspaper photographers. I have no objection to the person who objects to being personally posed, but it ought to be possible to take photographs of general scenes or occassions [sic] in a way that would not bother anybody and would be not only of interest but possibly of some historical value, and I hope you will be able to make some headway in broadening the opportunities for this sort of thing."
The relationship between the University and the press remained unclear in 1932 when, before retiring, News Office Director Robert K. Lamb wrote a letter to president Abbott Lawrence Lowell emphasizing the need for an incumbent with previous newspaper experience. His successor, William I. Nichols, recognized photographs as a means for better communication, and firmly stated: "There is great need to arrange adequate photographic facilities so that all types of information about Harvard may be adequately illustrated." (William Nichols address to the Associated Harvard Clubs, November 1933)
Although the first News Office photographer was not hired until 1943, the role of photography developed quickly after that. By the end of 1946, three photographers had been hired and the News Office installed darkroom facilities. During the 1940s and 1950s, News Office photography flourished and moved beyond publicity to an active documentary role. During the early 1970s, the News Office was placed administratively under the Office of the Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs. In 1994-1995, the name of the office was changed from Harvard News Office to Harvard University Office of News and Public Affairs.
- Faculty and Staff Portraits 1943-1984
- Presidents, 1938-1991
- Honorary Degree Recipients, 1945-1973, 1977
- Groups, 1913-1980
- Visitors, 1956-1979
- Harvard College, ca.1950-1970 (bulk), ca.1936-1983 (inclusive)
- Summer School, 1960-1968
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1946-1974
- Harvard Business School, 1948-1969
- School of Dental Medicine, 1948-1965
- Graduate School of Design, ca.1950-1972
- Harvard Divinity School, 1948-1966
- Graduate School of Education, 1956-1974
- Harvard Law School, ca.1950-1976
- Harvard Medical School, ca.1950-1965
- Graduate School of Public Administration [John F. Kennedy School of Government], 1938-1974
- School of Public Health, ca.1950-1972
- Commencement, 1956-1976
- Special Events, 1956-1974
- Special Projects, 1956-1973
- A Program for Harvard College, 1957-1958
- Images for News About Harvard 1965-1969
Obsolete Call Numbers
- UAV 605.280.1 p Faculty and Staff Portraits
- UAV 605.280.1 pN Faculty and Staff Portraits
- UAV 605.282.2 pN Summer School negatives boxes 1 and 2 became Box 102 and Box 103
- UAV 605.295.12 p Snapshots of Neil Rudenstine
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Accession 10518 received 1985 August 13. Portraits of students and photos of athletics, orginally designated as the HT (Home Town) and ATH (Athletics) Files, ca 1958-1970 and photos of Summer School activities, 1960-1970.
- Accession 12795 received 1993 December 6. Contact Sheets, 1936-1985
- Accession 10695 received 1986 April 1. Portrait of University faculty, staff and visitors, A - Q, ca. 1956-ca. 1972.
- Accession 12677 received 1993 May 28. Snapshots of Neil Rudenstine.
Office history researched and written by Wendy Marcus Gogel in December 1989. In 2002, Dawn Marsh and Andrea Goldstein contributed minor additions to update the history.
- Harvard University. News Office. Photographs, 1913-1991 (inclusive), 1956-1977 (bulk) : an inventory
- Harvard University Archives
- EAD ID
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.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA