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HUD 3567.219.2

Harvard Memorial Society.  Roll of Honor photographs : an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUD 3567.219.2
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard Memorial Society.
Title: Roll of Honor photographs, ca. 1912-ca. 1919.
Date(s): 1912- 1919.
Quantity: 2 cubic feet (6 boxes)
Quantity: 367 photographs
Quantity: 6 metal plaques
Abstract: The Roll of Honor consists of the names of 373 Harvard men who lost their lives during World War I or who died from injuries they sustained during military service.  This collection includes photographs of most of these men.

Acquisition Information:

Photographs transferred to the University Archives from Memorial Hall.  Accession number 13628; received 1997 July 30.

Processing Information:

Processed in October 2000 by Robin McElheny and Chris Nawrocki.  The photograph numbers that appear in this inventory were imposed when the photos were removed from the display stands.  The number served as a means of linking each portrait with its corresponding label.  It reflects neither the original display scheme nor the order in which names appeared in the Roll of Honor.
This document edited and encoded by Kate Bowers 2003 May 6.

Conditions on Use and Access:

Access is not restricted.  Some uses may be restricted because of the fragility of the photographs.  Contact the Reference Staff for details.

History of the Roll of Honor Photographs

The Roll of Honor consists of the names of Harvard men who lost their lives during World War I or who died from injuries they sustained during military service.  Their portraitphotographs and accompanying labels were assembed by the Harvard Memorial Society. The Society probably worked with the help of Harvard's War Records Office. In its final printing, A Roll of Honor of Harvard Men Who Have Given Their Lives for Liberty and Democracy in the War Against Germany lists 373 names.
Wooden exhibition stands were erected in Widener Library to display the Roll of Honor and photographs.  The stands were designed by the Boston architect Charles A. Coolidge (later of Shepley, Bulfinch, Rutan, and Coolidge). The photographs were displayed according to the order in which names were listed on the Honor Roll.
A ceremony to commemorate the men was held on May 30, 1920.  At this ceremony, General Pershing laid a wreath under the Roll of Honor and viewed the photographs.
A permanent memorial to the World War I dead joined the memorial to Harvard's other war dead when the south portico of Memorial Church was inscribed with the names, and the stands were moved to Memorial Hall.  When Memorial Hall underwent renovations in the mid-1990s, the display stands were disassembled and the photographs and labels were transferred to the University Archives.

Items in Box Order

This list contains the same information as the three lists above, but the list below is sorted according to physical arrangement, from Box 1 through Box 6.There is no photo number 7.  Harvard University Archives staff assume that either this number was skipped when the images were removed from their display stands or the image was lost before being transferred to the Harvard University Archives.


This collection includes portrait photographs of most of the men listed on the Roll of Honor and their original display labels, as well as the metal plaques from the display stands.  All of the photographs are black-and-white prints and measure 8 by 10 inches or less.  Many of the photographs portray the sitters in their military uniforms.  Labels include each man's degree or affiliation with the University, date of his degree or affiliation, permanent address, and military title, as well as the cause, place, and date of his death.
The exhibition stands were planned to exhibit 368 photographs.  This collection consists of 352 numbered photographs,15 unnumbered photographs, and 5 labels lacking photos.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 October 19.

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