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HUA 900.xx

Harvard University.  "Chest of 1900" : an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUA 900.xx
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University
Title:  Chest of 1900, 1899-1900
Date(s): 1899-1900
Quantity: 2.7 cubic feet (8 document boxes and 11 envelopes of photographs)
Abstract: The Chest of 1900 was a time-capsule project undertaken by Harvard University to mark the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. It contains student essays, diaries kept by students, employees and faculty members, publications and photographs.

Acquisition Information:

The Chest of 1900 was literally a wooden chest that served as a time capsule. Librarian William Coolidge Lane solicited contributions from the Harvard community, collected the contents, and placed them into the chest which was then sealed and kept in the University Archives.
Lane forgot to insert the photographs in the wooden chest in 1900, but preserved them and placed them near the chest in 1929.

Processing Information:

In accordance with the time capsule's instructions, the chest remained sealed until 1960. Indeed, it was forgotten for a few decades beyond 1960. The date when it was first opened is unknown. In 1999, the impending millenial rekindled interest in time capsules and the contents of the chest were re-examined and described in detail.
The material in this collection has been removed from the wooden chest and rehoused in appropriate archival containers.

Conditions on Use and Access:

There are no restrictions on access to this material.

Preferred Citation:

Harvard University. "Chest of 1900", 1899-1900. HUA 900.xx, Harvard University Archives.

Chest of 1900 Project

The "Chest of 1900" was a project to document everyday life at Harvard for the month of March 1900.  Many project participants contributed diaries; a few contributors elected to donate photographs or to include photographs with diaries.


The collection is arranged in five series:

Inventory update

This document last updated 2014 January 29.

Container List