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UAI 20.836

Harvard University. Corporation. Records of the Harvard Bicentenary Celebration, 1836, 1842, 1935 : an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAI 20.836
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University. Corporation
Title: Records of the Harvard Bicentenary Celebration, 1836, 1842, 1935
Date(s): 1836, 1842, 1935
Quantity: 1.09 cubic feet (3 pamphlet binders, 1 portfolio folder, 1 flat box, 1 document box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The records document some of the activities related to the Harvard Bicentenary Celebration held on September 8, 1836. Materials include extracts listing the votes of the Corporation about the 1836 celebration, a plan for the evening illumination of Holworthy Hall, a volume of autographs signed by Harvard graduates and guests, blank tickets for the "Dinner of the Alumni" held during the celebration and letters from Harvard alumni confirming their attendance at the dinner.

Acquisition information:

The documents in this collection are University records and were acquired in the course of University business. Whenever possible the archivist noted the terms of acquisition in the folder list below.
The acquisitions are as follows:
  • 1842 October 18, Robert Charles Winthrop
  • 1878 February 19, Harvard Corporation
  • 1936 August, Clipping file
  • Processing Information:

    This inventory was created in April 2014 by Dominic P. Grandinetti from a cursory inspection of the material and a variety of information sources. In some cases, titles were devised by the archivist.

    Researcher Access:

    Open for research.

    Preferred Citation:

    Harvard University. Corporation. Records of the Harvard Bicentenary Celebration, 1836, 1842, 1935. UAI 20.836, Harvard University Archives.

    Related material

    In the Harvard University Archives

    Historical note

    The Bicentenary Celebration of Harvard University was held on September 8, 1836. The celebration began when Harvard students, alumni, guests, and members of the Harvard Corporation assembled at University Hall in Harvard Yard. Bound books were then presented for the signatures of alumni and guests, and during the day more than 1,100 names were collected. Following the gathering at University Hall, the procession left Harvard Yard and entered the Congregational Church for the celebratory exercises. Harvard President Josiah Quincy delivered the Bicentenary address; prayers were offered, and music was performed. After extensively reviewing the Harvard College books, Quincy revealed the first sketch of the Harvard shield drawn in 1643 (in 1843 a version of the design was formally adopted as the seal of the Harvard Corporation). After the exercises in the church concluded, the procession moved to the Dinner Pavilion, erected within the College grounds. Approximately 1300 alumni and guests assembled for dinner; many toasts, songs, and speeches accompanied the festivities. During the evening the windows of the College buildings were illuminated with lights in the shapes of diamonds, stars, and pyramids by students. In the center windows of Holworthy Hall an oversized "200" was lit, and bonfires brightened the neighboring hills. The Bicentenary Celebration concluded in the evening without a mishap "with a dignity and decorum worthy of the solemn festival of an ancient literary institution."

    References

    Scope and Contents

    The records document some of the activities related to the Harvard Bicentenary Celebration of 1836. Materials include extracts taken from the Harvard College records listing the votes of the Corporation about the 1836 celebration, a plan for the evening illumination of Holworthy Hall during the celebration, a volume of autographs signed by Harvard graduates and guests present at the celebration, and blank tickets (including the printing plate) for the "Dinner of the Alumni" held on September 8, 1836. Other records include letters from Harvard alumni confirming their attendance at the Alumni dinner.

    General

    This document last updated 2014 April 16.

    Container List

    Additional Index Terms

    Harvard University -- Buildings.
    Harvard University -- Centennial celebration, etc.
    Holworthy Hall (Cambridge, Mass)
    Harvard University -- Anniversaries, etc.
    Harvard University -- Alumni and alumnae.
    Harvard University -- History -- 19th century.
    Architectual drawings.
    Letters (correspondence)
    Admission tickets.
    Printing plates.
    Autographs -- Collections.
    Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864.
    Greene, Jerome Davis, 1874-1959.
    Winthrop, Robert C. (Robert Charles), 1809-1894.
    Harvard University
    Harvard University. Corporation

    hua19014