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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUD 3121
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard Advocate (Organization)
Title: Records of the Harvard Advocate
Quantity: 5.7 cubic feet (13 document boxes, 6 portfolio boxes) exclusive of publications)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Founded in 1866, the Harvard Advocate is Harvard University's oldest existing student literary magazine. The Advocate publishes short stories, verses, essays and articles, reviews of books, interviews, photographs, and plays. The Records of the Harvard Advocate document the history and activities of this literary group. Business and financial records are the largest part of the collection.
- Group photographs of the Advocate editors, are included in the Harvard University Archives' Photograph Subject Files and classified as HUPSF Advocate. Consult the Harvard University Photographs : Subject Files inventory.
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Introduction The Harvard Advocate is the oldest of Harvard University's existing student magazines.Early Student Magazines at HarvardThe first Harvard magazine, The Harvard Lyceum, was founded in 1810, but closed after only nine months. Between 1810 and 1840, four more student magazines started, the last being The Harvard Magazine, which folded after ten years in 1864. In the spring of 1866, the first issue of the Collegian was published. Harvard administrators forced the Collegian to close after only three issues when its defiant editors challenged mandatory student attendance at chapel.Undaunted, a group of former Collegian editors led by William G. Peckman (Harvard Class of 1867) and Charles S. Gage (Harvard Class of 1867) released the first issue of a new magazine, the Harvard Advocate. The Harvard Advocate, adopted the motto Veritas nihil veretur (Truth fears nothing) and continued its predecessors' attempts to represent the views and opinions of Harvard students. The first issue was a great success and sold out immediately.Early Years to World War IThe early issues of the Advocate were bi-weekly and in newspaper format. The Advocate reported on football and baseball games, printed traditional verses, and taunted members of the faculty. Editorials became an important part of the newspaper and promoted the introduction of electives to the curriculum,admission of women to the college, and supported opposition to the University's book store monopoly. Although primarily a means by which undergraduates could practice their writing skills, members of the faculty were invited to contribute prose and verse to the newspaper as well.The Advocate's literary and financial success encouraged other student publishing efforts. In 1873, a group of former Advocate staffers formed the Magenta which later became the Harvard Crimson . Additional defectors from the Advocate started the humor magazine the Harvard Lampoon in 1876 and a serious journal, the Harvard Monthly in 1885.By the close of the 1890s, the Harvard Advocate had adopted its present format. Coverage of College news diminished, and poetry and short stories became prominent. The magazine had also established traditions such as annual and decennial dinners, published supplements, literary prizes, and an editor's catalogue.By 1916, the Harvard Advocate's offices had become a gathering place for Cambridge's literary world to meet and socialize. In the period prior to World War I, a number of future literary giants such as Wallace Stevens,E. E. Cummings,T. S. Eliot, and Conrad Aiken, published frequently in the Advocate .Between the WarsThe Harvard Advocate was the only Harvard publication to continue operation during World War I. After the war, the Advocate adopted a more political tone, publishing articles such as Persecution and Americanism by Lloyd McKim (Harvard Class of 1919) and The Liberalism of Herbert Hoover by Archibald MacLeish (Harvard Class of 1919). The Advocate also published parodies of other magazines including The Atlantic Monthly , Time , The Saturday Review , The New Republic , and The New Yorker.It published a series of special issues in 1938 and 1940 devoted to T. S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. Members of the editorial board included students who became literary luminaries such as James Agee,Robert Fitzgerald,Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Norman Mailer. In addition, the Advocate published contributions from established authors who were not Harvard affiliates, such as Ezra Pound, Boris Pasternak, and William Carlos Williams. Falling college enrollment and tight finances during World War II caused the Advocate to suspend publication in 1943.Cold WarAfter World War II, a small group of the magazine's trustees worked to reestablish the Advocate and by the late 1940s the magazine was up and running again. The goal of the newly established Harvard Advocate was to create a high-quality magazine that would sell. Special issues devoted to William Faulkner (1951), British novelists (1952), and Robert Lowell (1961) gained critical acclaim. The magazine became noted for the variety of its undergraduate poetry and its support of the literary efforts of the beat generation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Advocate editors introduced a new feature, The Harvard Square Sex Story which was discontinued by the end of the 1950s.The Vietnam Era and AfterDuring the 1970s, the Harvard Advocate faced increasing competition for readership and writers on campus from new magazines and alternative creative forums. Many of these competitors shifted away from the established literary circle to focus on specific cultural or community groups, provided an outlet for writers, poets, and other artists not interested in producing for a high-pressure publication, and produced issues that were inexpensively printed and distributed.The Advocate took a number of steps to meet these new challenges. First, it increased opportunities for new writers. It opened to the public writing contests which had formerly been closed, it limited the number of times an individual could be published in order to increase the pool of writers, and it welcomed contributions from outside of the undergraduate community. Second, to promote itself, the magazine sponsored readings, art shows, and music events and it strengthened its relationships with other campus organizations. Third, it changed its staff to better reflect the entire student body by increasing the number of women and members of minority groups.References:Baldwin, Thomas Tileston."History of the Harvard Advocate." In Catalogue of the Editors of the Harvard Advocate 1866-1886 to which is prefixed a short history of the paper. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Board of the Harvard Advocate, 1886.Bethell, John T., Richard M. Hunt, and Robert Shenton. Harvard A to Z. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004.Culler, Jonathan D., ed. Harvard Advocate Centennial Anthology. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Schenkman Publishing Company, Inc., 1966.Ellenberg, Jordan. "A Sheet of the Right Character: The Harvard Advocate at 125. " The Harvard Advocate, February 1992, 2-6.Harvard University. Harvard University Handbook: An Official Guide to the Grounds, Buildings, Libraries, Museums, and Laboratories, with Notes on the History, Development and Activities of all Departments of the University. Cambridge: Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936.Jal D. Mehta, "New Magazine Makes Debut Today, "The Harvard Crimson, 28 February 1996.Liza M. Velazquez, "Literary Magazines Explore New Directions, "The Harvard Crimson, 1 March 1990.Nicole B. Usher, "Advocate Elects New Board, "The Harvard Crimson, 13 December 1999."Old Clubs in a New Era, "The Harvard Crimson, 4 December 1991.Patrick M. McKee and Joshua P. Rogers, "Advocate Faces College Pressure, " The Harvard Crimson, 4 May 2004.
The Records of the Harvard Advocate document the history and activities of this literary group. Business and financial records form the largest group of material and focus on the Advocate's finances.
This document last updated 2016 October 14.
The following list provides a map to call numbers that were made obsolete by the archivist during the 2007 re-processing. All the materials for The Records of the Harvard Advocate now fall under the single call number HUD 3121.
- HUD 3000pf Posters: moved to General Information and ephemera, Posters.
- HUD 3121.xxx General folder: moved to General Information and ephemera, Posters.
- HUD 3121.xxx General folder: moved to General Information and ephemera, Invitations and Programs.
- HUD 3121.xxx General folder: moved to General Information and ephemera, News clippings.
- HUD 3121.241 Hillyer, R.S. MS. address for seventy-fifth anniversary: moved to General Information and ephemera, Address given by Robert S. Hillyer at the Harvard Advocate's Seventy-Fifth Anniversary.
- HUD 3121.505 Minutes, 1918-1934, 1951-1954: moved to Business Records, Meeting Minutes.
- HUD 3121.521 Correspondence, 1886-1887: moved to Business Records, Correspondence.
- HUD 3121.522 Correspondence with office files, 1906-1938: moved to Business Records, Correspondence.
- HUD 3121.522 Correspondence with office files, 1906-1938: moved to Business Records, Correspondence.
- HUD 3121.522 Correspondence with office files, 1906-1938: moved to The Constitution of the Harvard Advocate.
- HUD 3121.702 Accounts receivable, 1930-1943: moved to Business Records, Financial Records, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable Ledgers.
- HUD 3121.709 Bonds (paid), 1936-1937: moved to Records of the Harvard Advocate Trustees, Bonds.
- HUD 3121.713 Check stubs, 1933-1941: moved to Business Records, Financial Records, Check Stubs.
- HUD 3121.715 Comment Books (Editor's), 1973-1981: moved to Business Records, Comment Books.
- HUD 3121.729 Forms (includes letter to Roy E. Larsen, May 28, 1918): moved to Business Records, Correspondence.
- HUD 3121.742f Journal, 1908-1917: moved to Business Records, Financial Records, General Journal.
- HUD 3121.749f Ledger, 1919-1920: moved to Business Records, Financial Records, General Ledger.
- HUD 3121.752 Medals: moved to General Information and ephemera, William Bentinck-Smith's Harvard Advocate Medal.
- HUD 3121.779f Scrapbooks, various dates: moved to General Information and ephemera, Scrapbooks.
- HUD 3121.909 Guest book, 1909-1974 and folder or paper found inside book: moved to General Information and ephemera, Guest Signature.
- HUD 3121.913 Papers relating to proposed merger with the Harvard Monthly: moved to Business Records, Correspondence.
- HUD 3121.941 Bentinck-Smith, W. Papers as a Trustee of the Harvard Advocate, 1941-1961: moved to Records of the Harvard Advocate Trustees, Correspondence.
- HUD 3121.945 Financial and legal records of the Harvard Advocate Trustees, 1955-1977: moved to Records of the Harvard Advocate Trustees, Financial and Legal Materials.