Harvard University Archives

The Harvard University Archives collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to a comprehensive record of more than 375 years of life at Harvard. From 17th century diaries and scientific observations to 21st century web sites, over 51,000 linear feet of University records and related historical materials support research by scholars of social, intellectual, and academic history and by students learning the methodology of historical research and writing. 

The Harvard University Archives welcomes and encourages the use of its collections by faculty and students.

Archivists are ready to collaborate with faculty in support of innovative, interactive, hands-on experiences with the Archives' collections through the development of guides, course-specific digitization, and introductory research sessions.

Recent classes at the Harvard University Archives include HSCI100 Knowing the World, Advanced Research Methods in the Social Sciences and Portals to the Past: Studying History through Objects in Harvard Collections.

Collections

  • Harvard's Institutional History and Records Over four centuries of archival and manuscript documentation of Harvard’s intellectual, cultural, social, religious, and administrative history.
  • Harvard Faculty Personal and Professional Archives Personal and scholarly archives of Harvard faculty and senior administrators active in the Harvard community from the 17th century to the present.
  • Women at Harvard Collections Personal and professional archives documenting the impact and impressions that women have made at Harvard and beyond.
  • Harvard Science, Technology, and the Environment Collections Investigate nearly four centuries of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, natural resources, and the environment through disciplinary, historical, political, and social contexts.
  • Harvard Student Life Collections: Arts, Sports, Politics and Social Life Archives of Harvard students, alumni/ae, and organizations provide a detailed look at student scholastic and extracurricular interests, as well as their family and social lives.
  • Staff Services

    • Exhibition space
    • Harvard University Archives Research Guide
    • Assistance with presentation of materials in class
    • Assistance with selection of materials
    • Bibliography of materials used in class
    • Tour
    • Pre-class appointment for instructor (required for first time requester, recommended for everyone)
    • Creation of library research guide for class
    • Introduction to Archives and Special Collections Research
    • Asynchronous activity design and monitoring

    Technology Available

    • Canvas course librarian

    Administrative Information

      Class limit: (none)

    The Harvard University Archives does not have a publicly available calendar. When making a request, please submit with your preferred times and a staff member will get back to you.