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HUV 659

Photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, 1926-1952: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUV 659
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Title: Photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, 1926-1952
Date(s): McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, 1926-1952
Quantity: 0.5 cubic feet (32 photographs)
Abstract: The Photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, provide a visual record of one of the Houses in Harvard University's House system, as well as its grounds and surrounding area from 1926 to 1952. Images include reproductions of sketches and photograph prints, and print formats include gelatin silver prints, collotype prints, and letterpress halftone prints. McKinlock Hall is part of Leverett House, one of the dormitories of Harvard University's House system. It was built in 1926 and originally served as freshman dormitory until the House system was instituted in 1930.

Acquisition information:

These images were acquired by the Harvard University Archives from the late nineteenth century through the late twentieth century.

Processing Information:

This finding aid was created by Amanda Shermanin April 2016.
Description of the Photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, 1926-1952, was supported by the Harvard Library's Hidden Collection initiative.

Researcher Access:

Open for research.

Online access:

All of the images have been digitized and are available online. Links accompany detailed descriptions.

Preferred Citation:

Photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, 1926-1952. HUV 659, Harvard University Archives.

Related Materials

Collections in the Harvard University Archives

Historical Note

McKinlock Hall is part of Leverett House, one of the dormitories of Harvard University's House system. It was built in 1926 and originally served as freshman dormitory until the House system was instituted in 1930. It was designed by Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch and Abbott, and funds for construction were provided by a gift from Mr. and Mrs. George A. McKinlock. The building was named in honor of their son, George Alexander McKinlock, Jr., Class of 1916, who was killed in World War I.
The House system was established in 1930 by Harvard University President Abbott Lawrence Lowell with the goal of supplementing the students' education with intellectually, culturally, and socially stimulating living environments, as well as creating a sense of community among students. The Houses accommodate between 350 and 500 students, and at the end of their first year, students are assigned to a House, and they live there through the end of their undergraduate career. Each House typically has a dining hall, common rooms, a library, and recreational spaces.
Leverett House was created in 1931, one of the original River Houses developed at the beginning of the House system. It was named in honor of John Leverett, who served as president of Harvard from 1708 to 1724. He was the first president who was not a clergyman, and according to Samuel Eliot Morison, he "founded the liberal tradition of Harvard University." The Leverett House shield is based on the Leverett family crest, and the rabbit motif is derived from the meaning of the word "leveret," a young hare.
For nearly thirty years, Leverett House consisted of a complex of buildings that included McKinlock Hall and Mather Hall, a dormitory built at the conception of the House system with funding from the gift of Edward Stephen Harkness. Mather Hall was named for Increase Mather, president of Harvard from 1692 to 1701. By the 1950s, the rising student populationcaused severe overcrowding in the House system, leading to the construction of new Houses, including the nearby Quincy House in 1959. Mather Hall was transferred from Leverett to Quincy House and New Quincy Hall was built, while the Leverett Towers and Leverett House Library were built for Leverett House. McKinlock Hall remained a part of Leverett House.
Notable residents of Leverett House include Aga Khan IV, Timothy Crouse, Al Jean, Anthony Lake, Steven Levitt, Jeremy Lin, Saul Perlmutter, Mike Reiss, John F. Roberts, Sydney Schanberg, Pete Seeger, Laurence Tribe, John Weidman, Cornel West, Arne Duncan, and Shaun Donovan. Guests of Leverett House include W. B. Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Malcolm X, Archibald MacLeish, Perry Miller and Lillian Hellman. Yo-Yo Ma served as a Leverett House music tutor.

References

Arrangement

The photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, has a legacy arrangement reflecting over 100 years of interfiling individual photographs of the structure from many sources into one collection. The images are arranged into three folders, with the photographs loosely arranged in chronological order.This collection is part of the Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Views, in which Archives staff compiled images, whether acquired individually or removed from larger collections, and arranged them in categories based on locations, buildings, or landscape features for ease of reference.

Scope and Content

The Photographic views of McKinlock Hall, Leverett House, provide a visual record of one of the Houses in Harvard University's House system, as well as its grounds and surrounding area from 1926 to 1952. The 32 images include reproductions of sketches and photograph prints, and print formats include gelatin silver prints, collotype prints, and letterpress halftone prints. The photographs have primarily been contributed by the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and the Harvard University News Office. One photograph was taken by noted architectural photographer, F. S. Lincoln. Exterior images show McKinlock Hall from a variety of angles. The images also show construction of the building and of Weeks Bridge. Interior images show students studying in the library, four students posing while dressed in women's clothing, and the 1952 Leverett House production of the play The Sorcerer.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 April 27.

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