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HUD 3121

Harvard Advocate (Organization). Records of the Harvard Advocate : an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUD 3121
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard Advocate (Organization)
Title: Records of the Harvard Advocate
Date(s): 1866-1981
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.

Acquisition Information:

The Records of the Harvard Advocate were acquired through donation from 1876 through 2002.
  • undated, Samuel Hinckley
  • 1876 Editors of the Harvard Advocate, Class of 1873
  • 1886 Gratis
  • 1887 Editors of the Harvard Advocate, Class of 1886
  • 1896 Mary Osgood Fund
  • 1897 Editors of the Harvard Advocate
  • 1912 Mrs. W.M. Taussig
  • 1916 William Sumner Appleton
  • 1925 Harvard College Library
  • 1926 Albert Bushnell Hart
  • 1931 Harris Kennedy
  • 1935 William Bentinck-Smith
  • 1936 Mrs. W.P. Derby
  • 1938 The Harvard Advocate
  • 1938 Mrs. Winthrop Talbot
  • 1939 Theodore L. Frothingham
  • 1940 Charles Warren
  • 1940 Walter W. Wright
  • 1941 Gratis
  • 1941 The Harvard Advocate
  • 1943 Albert G. Waite
  • 1944 Estate of Albert Bushnell Hart
  • 1944 John W. Cummin
  • 1945 Gratis
  • 1946 Signet Society
  • 1947 The Harvard Advocate
  • 1947 Southworth Lancaster
  • 1949 A.D. Club
  • 1949 Gratis
  • 1953 William Bentinck-Smith
  • 1955 The Harvard Advocate
  • 1956 Harvard University Library
  • 1962 Arthur D. Graeff
  • 1963 William Bentinck-Smith
  • 1965 Estate of H. De Wolf
  • 1966 Harvard University Library
  • 1969 Rosamund and Annie Lamb
  • 1977 Harvard University Library
  • 1978 The Harvard Advocate
  • 1982 The Harvard Advocate
  • 2002 The Louis N. Littauer Foundation
  • Accession number: 08068; 1977 March 3
  • Accession number: 08094; 1977 April 13
  • Accession number: 08817; 1980 January 2
  • Accession number: 08898; 1980 June 2
  • Accession number: 11911; 1990 February 5
  • Accession number: 13272; 1996 February 29
  • Accession number: 13937; 1999 April 29
  • Processing Information:

    The Records of the Harvard Advocate were first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. In October 2007, Dominic P. Grandinetti re-processed the material. Re-processing included integrating and reorganizing the records, re-housing materials in appropriate containers, establishing a series and subseries hierarchy, and the creation of this inventory.
    Call numbers were simplified and reassigned. A list of obsolete call numbers is included in this inventory.

    Conditions on Use and Access:

    Access to records may be restricted. Consult the Harvard University Archives staff for details.

    Related Material

    History of the Harvard Advocate

    Introduction The Harvard Advocate is the oldest of Harvard University's existing student magazines.
    Early Student Magazines at Harvard
    The 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 I
    The 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 Wars
    The 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 War
    After 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 After
    During 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.
    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.

    Scope and Contents

    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.

    Inventory update

    This document last updated 2016 October 14.

    Obsolete Call Numbers

    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.

    Container List