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HUV 574

Photographic views of Leverett House Library, 1960-1966: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUV 574
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Title: Photographic views of Leverett House Library, 1960-1966
Date(s): Leverett House Library, 1960-1966
Quantity: 0.15 cubic feet (23 photographs)
Abstract: The Leverett House Library was built as an addition to the Leverett House complex in 1960 during a time of expansion for Harvard University's House system. It was built with funds from the gift of the Saltonstall family. The Photographic views of Leverett House Library provide a visual record of the library of one of Harvard University's houses in the House system, its grounds, and surrounding area from 1960 to 1966. All 23 images are gelatin silver photograph prints.

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 Sherman in March 2016.
Description of the Photographic views of Leverett House Library, 1960-1966, 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 Leverett House Library, 1960-1966. HUV 574, Harvard University Archives.

Related Materials

Collections in the Harvard University Archives

Historical Note

The Leverett House Library was built as an addition to the Leverett House complex in 1960 during a time of expansion for Harvard University's House system. It was built with funds from the gift of the Saltonstall family. Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott designed the two-story library, as well as the two twelve-story Leverett Towers that were constructed at the same time.
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, a freshman dorm built in 1926, and Mather Hall, a dormitory built at the conception of the House system with funding from the gift of Edward Stephen Harkness. McKinlock Hall was built with funds from Mr. and Mrs. George A. McKinlock, and the building was named in honor of their son, George Alexander McKinlock, Jr., Class of 1916, who was killed in World War I. Mather Hall was named for Increase Mather, president of Harvard from 1692 to 1701.
In the 1950s, the rising student population caused 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.

References

Arrangement

The Photographic views of Leverett House Library 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 Leverett House Library provide a visual record of the library of one of Harvard University's houses in the House system, its grounds, and surrounding area from 1960 to 1966. All 23 images are gelatin silver photograph prints, and they have primarily been contributed by the Harvard Alumni Bulletin and the Harvard University News Office. Exterior photographs include images of students walking to the library, the patterned pathway outside the building, and landscapers working on the grounds, while interior photographs show a gathering at the library's opening and students studying in the library.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 June 6.

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