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COLLECTION Identifier: UAI 20.936

Records of the Harvard University Tercentenary Celebration,

Overview

The tercentenary celebration of the founding of Harvard University highlighting Harvard’s educational resources and connections with American education and international scholarship officially began on November 7, 1935 and culminated on September 16-18, 1936. These records document the final ceremonial events of September 16-18, 1936, including invitations to delegates and their processional order. The bulk of the records consist of congratulatory messages presented to Harvard University by delegates during the celebration on September 16, 1936. There are also two small time capsules to be opened at Harvard's 400th anniversary.

Dates

  • 1936

Creator

Researcher Access

Most of the records are open for research. Two small portions of the records are closed until Harvard's 400th anniversary in 2036.

Extent

27.59 cubic feet (9 oversized storage boxes, 4 volumes, 4 pamphlet folders, 2 folders, 1 storage case)
These records document the final ceremonial events of September 16-18, 1936 which were the culmination of Harvard's 10-month celebration of 350 years since the founding of Harvard College.

The records include invitations to delegates and their processional order. The bulk of the records consist of congratulatory messages presented to Harvard University by delegates, alumni, and the general public. There are also two small time capsules: letters written by Harvard University officials to their successors to be opened in 2036, the 400th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College.

These documents of the Tercentenary ceremonies, with hundreds of congratulatory messages from delgates from all over the world, reflect the fact that Harvard had expanded its reach and influence by the time of the celebrations. The institution that began as a small, provincial college of in seventeenth century observed its Tercentenary in a manner befitting a global academic leader of the twentieth century.

Historical note

The tercentenary celebration of the founding of Harvard University officially began on November 7, 1935 and culminated on September 16-18, 1936. Highlighting Harvard’s educational resources and connections with American education and international scholarship, the tercentenary celebration attracted 70,000 visitors to Harvard University buildings and special exhibits over a ten month period. An audience of 15,000, including 10,000 Harvard alumni, attended the last three days of the Tercentenary. At the opening exercises on September 16 in Sanders Theatre, 547 delegates from universities, colleges, and learned societies presented congratulatory messages from their respective institutions. The next day featured an outdoor meeting held by the Associated Harvard Club and a fireworks display that drew more than 300,000 people to the banks of the Charles River. The last day of the celebration was devoted to addresses by such notables as Harvard President James B. Conant, emeritus Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, Judge Learned Hand (AB 1893, LLB 1896), president of the Harvard Alumni Association, and president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (AB 1904).

Acquisition information

These are University records and were acquired in the course of University business.

The acquisitions are as follows:
  1. 1936 September 17, Professor Frans M. Olbrechts
  2. 1936 November 17, Walter B. Briggs
  3. 1937 December 21, Thomas F. Currier
  4. 1945 January 26, Jerome D. Greene

Online access

A few of the records have been digitized and are accessible online. Links to online content accompany descriptions.

Related material

Harvard University. Tercentenary Celebration Office. Records of the Tercentenary Celebration Office, 1934-1937. UAV 827.x, Harvard University Archives http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua22004

References

  • Bethell, John T. Harvard Observed: An Illustrated History of the University in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998.
  • Harvard University. The Tercentenary of Harvard College: A Chronicle of the Tercentenary Year 1935-1936. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1937.

General note

This document last updated 2015 June 25.
People
  1. Lowell, A. Lawrence (Abbott Lawrence), 1856-1943.
  2. Greene, Jerome Davis, 1874-1959.
  3. Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978.
Groups
  1. Harvard University. Corporation.
  2. Harvard University -- Centennial celebrations, etc.
  3. Harvard University -- History -- 20th century.
  4. Harvard University -- Anniversaries, etc.
  5. Harvard University -- Alumni and alumnae.
  6. Harvard University -- Gifts.
  7. Harvard University -- Students.
  8. Associated Harvard Clubs.
  9. Kyūshū Teikoku Daigaku.
Topics
  1. Autographs -- Collections.
Formats and genres
  1. Letters (correspondence)
  2. Lists (document genres)
  3. Volumes (documents by form)
  4. Tapestries.
  5. Harvard objects.

Processing Information

This inventory was created in June 2014 by Dominic P. Grandinetti. Additional information was added by Kate Bowers in October 2014.

Titles were devised by the archivist unless otherwise noted.
Link to catalog
Title
Harvard University. Corporation. Records of the Harvard University Tercentenary Celebration, 1936 : an inventory
EAD ID
hua31014

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