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UAI 20.936

Harvard University. Corporation. Records of the Harvard University Tercentenary Celebration, 1936 : an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAI 20.936
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University. Corporation
Title: Records of the Harvard University Tercentenary Celebration,
Date(s): 1936
Quantity: 27.59 cubic feet (9 oversized storage boxes, 4 volumes, 4 pamphlet folders, 2 folders, 1 storage case)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The tercentenary celebration of the founding of Harvard University highlighting Harvard's educational resources and connections with American education and international scholarship officially began on November 7, 1935 and culminated on September 16-18, 1936. These records document the final ceremonial events of September 16-18, 1936, including invitations to delegates and their processional order. The bulk of the records consist of congratulatory messages presented to Harvard University by delegates during the celebration on September 16, 1936. There are also two small time capsules to be opened at Harvard's 400th anniversary.

Acquisition information:

These are University records and were acquired in the course of University business.
The acquisitions are as follows:
  • 1936 September 17, Professor Frans M. Olbrechts
  • 1936 November 17, Walter B. Briggs
  • 1937 December 21, Thomas F. Currier
  • 1945 January 26, Jerome D. Greene
  • Processing Information:

    This inventory was created in June 2014 by Dominic P. Grandinetti. Additional information was added by Kate Bowers in October 2014.
    Titles were devised by the archivist unless otherwise noted.

    Researcher Access:

    Most of the records are open for research. Two small portions of the records are closed until Harvard's 400th anniversary in 2036.

    Online access:

    A few of the records have been digitized and are accessible online. Links to online content accompany descriptions.

    Preferred Citation:

    Harvard University. Corporation. Records of the Harvard University Tercentenary Celebration, 1936. UAI 20.936, Harvard University Archives.

    Related material

    Harvard University. Tercentenary Celebration Office. Records of the Tercentenary Celebration Office, 1934-1937. UAV 827.x, Harvard University Archives http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua22004

    Historical note

    The tercentenary celebration of the founding of Harvard University officially began on November 7, 1935 and culminated on September 16-18, 1936. Highlighting Harvard's educational resources and connections with American education and international scholarship, the tercentenary celebration attracted 70,000 visitors to Harvard University buildings and special exhibits over a ten month period. An audience of 15,000, including 10,000 Harvard alumni, attended the last three days of the Tercentenary. At the opening exercises on September 16 in Sanders Theatre, 547 delegates from universities, colleges, and learned societies presented congratulatory messages from their respective institutions. The next day featured an outdoor meeting held by the Associated Harvard Club and a fireworks display that drew more than 300,000 people to the banks of the Charles River. The last day of the celebration was devoted to addresses by such notables as Harvard President James B. Conant, emeritus Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, Judge Learned Hand (AB 1893, LLB 1896), president of the Harvard Alumni Association, and president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (AB 1904).

    References

    Scope and Contents

    These records document the final ceremonial events of September 16-18, 1936 which were the culmination of Harvard's 10-month celebration of 350 years since the founding of Harvard College.
    The records include invitations to delegates and their processional order. The bulk of the records consist of congratulatory messages presented to Harvard University by delegates, alumni, and the general public. There are also two small time capsules: letters written by Harvard University officials to their successors to be opened in 2036, the 400th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College.
    These documents of the Tercentenary ceremonies, with hundreds of congratulatory messages from delgates from all over the world, reflect the fact that Harvard had expanded its reach and influence by the time of the celebrations. The institution that began as a small, provincial college of in seventeenth century observed its Tercentenary in a manner befitting a global academic leader of the twentieth century.

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    This document last updated 2015 June 25.

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