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© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUD 237.714 F
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1837.
Title: Class Book, 1837-1900.
Quantity: 0.2 cubic feet (1 volumes)
Abstract: This volume was maintained Harvard College Class of 1837 Class Secretary Henry W. Williams. It contains biographies of class members and minutes of class meetings. It is part of a series of Harvard class books, which may be considered the nineteenth-century counterpart to yearbooks in general or the published works known as "Harvard Class Reports" in the 20th century.
- General information about the Class of 1837 (HUD 237.00, Box 24)
- Biographical folders of members of the Class of 1837 (HUG 300)
- Class Reports on microfiche (HUD 237.xx)
- Official confirmation of the matriculation or degree status of members of the Class is in University records (e.g. admissions records).
- Cameron. Thoreau and his Harvard classmates (HUD 237.11, Box 26)
- Weiss, J. Poem read at annual dinner, 1874 (HUD 237.37.93, Box 26)
- Memorials prepared for the fiftieth anniversary by H. Williams (HUD 237.50, Box 26)
- Wheeler,C.S. Biographical Notices of Mr. Charles Hayward, Jr. and Mr. Samuel T. Hildreth (HUD 237.50, Box 26)
- Secretary's File (HUD 237.505, Box 27)
- Memorials of Class Day, 1837 (HUD 237.800, Box 26)
The Harvard College Class of 1837 included notable authors Henry David Thoreau and Richard Henry Dana. This volume was maintained the Class Secretary, Henry W. Williams.
Photography had yet to be invented when the compilation of this volume began; thus, the Class Book did not initially contain photographs. After 1850, as paper printing processes became widely available, Class Secretary Henry Williams solicited portraits of each member of the Class from the graduates or their heirs and subsequently pasted those he received into the volume.
This volume is part of a series of Harvard class books, which may be considered the nineteenth-century counterpart to yearbooks in general or the published works known as "Harvard Class Reports" in the 20th century. Harvard classes began compiling Class Books in about 1800 and discontinued the practice around 1900.For the most part the class books lack photographs, so they are complemented in the later years of the 19th century by another series, the class albums. Unlike class books, class albums typically were compiled by individual students, not the class secretary. Therefore, many class albums may exist for a single class year. Class albums typically include a student's selection of photographs of students, faculty, staff, the campus, and buildings. Class albums exist for classes of the mid-20th to early 21st century.
- Autobiographical essays, biographical news clippings, including obituaries, and photographs, pp. 1-154
- Minutes of Class meetings, 1837 to 1871, pp. 156-189
- Biographical entries, news clippings, and photographs, pp. 191 to 205
- Minutes of Class meetings, 1872-1894, pp. 221-239
- Biographical entries, news clippings, obituaries, photographs, pp. 270-289
The 1837 Class Book is in some ways a nineteenth-century counterpart to the twentieth-century class yearbook. It contains handwritten autobiographies by the majority of members of the class. These were written in the volume on or around the time of Commencement, July 1837. Generally, each essay includes references to the student's family background, early childhood and education, and a memoir of his time as a student at Harvard College. In cases where the graduate did not contribute an essay, the Class Secretary included biographical information and news clippings. Some entries contain photographs. While providing a high degree of detail on many members of the class, the Class Book does not have entries for all members of the Class of 1837; thus it is a poor resource for confirmation of matriculation or degree status.
This document last updated 2016 October 24.