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UAI 20.941.2

Harvard University. Records relating to the University of Oxford Convocation at Harvard University, 19 June 1941 : an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAI 20.941.2
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University
Title: Records relating to the University of Oxford Convocation at Harvard University, 19 June 1941
Date(s): 1941
Quantity: .57 cubic feet (2 pamphlet binders, 2 portfolio folders, 1 flat box, 1 folder)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: On June 19, 1941, the University of Oxford held a convocation at Harvard University to award an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Presented to Roosevelt for his support against lawlessness and aggression abroad and for his support in "the fight for Peace, Justice, and Freedom," the honorary degree was also designed to reinforce the relationship between Great Britain and the United States and to acknowledge American support for Britain in its war against Germany during World War II. This collection documents the University of Oxford Convocation exercises held at the close of the Harvard University Commencement on June 19, 1941. Records include orders and directions outlining the ceremonial order followed at the Convocation, a typewritten manuscript of Lord Viscount Halifax's chancellor's address given at the Convocation, and black-and-white photographs and newspaper pictures depicting scenes of the Harvard Commencement and University of Oxford Convocation.

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:
  • 1941, Jerome D. Greene,
  • 1941 July 31, Jerome D. Greene
  • 1941 August, Kenneth J. Conant
  • 1941 September 11, Jerome D. Greene
  • Processing Information:

    This inventory was created in June 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. The records were re-processed as Records relating to the University of Oxford Convocation at Harvard University, 19 June 1941 and assigned the call number UAI 20.941.2.
    As part of this finding aid, the archivist created a listing of superseded call numbers to help researchers in identifying materials noted in previous citations. The listing (located at the end of this finding aid) provides references from the superseded call number to new box numbers.

    Researcher Access:

    Open for research.

    Preferred Citation:

    Harvard University. Records relating to the University of Oxford Convocation at Harvard University, 19 June 1941. UAI 20.941.2, Harvard University Archives.

    Related material

    In the Harvard University Archives

    Historical note

    On June 19, 1941, the University of Oxford held a convocation at Harvard University to award an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the highest honor the University could give to a person. Presented to Roosevelt for his support against lawlessness and aggression abroad and for his support in "the fight for Peace, Justice, and Freedom," the honorary degree was also designed to reinforce the relationship between Great Britain and the United States and acknowledge American support for Britain in its war against Germany during World War II. Since Roosevelt was unable to attend the ceremony due to illness, his personal aide and secretary, Major-General Edwin M. Watson, received the degree on his behalf and read a personal message from Roosevelt to the convocation. This was one of the few times that an Oxford Convocation had taken place outside the University of Oxford and chaired by its chancellor. Following the Harvard Commencement, the President and Fellows of Harvard College withdrew from the stage and the Oxford procession, including the Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Viscount Halifax, entered in full academic regalia. In a return gesture, Harvard University conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon Halifax. The exercises were attended by 5,000 relatives and friends of 2,268 Harvard degree recipients.

    References

    Scope and Contents

    The collection documents the University of Oxford Convocation exercises held at the close of the Harvard University Commencement on June 19, 1941. Records include orders and directions outlining the ceremonial order followed at the Convocation, a typewritten manuscript of Lord Viscount Halifax's chancellor's address given at the Convocation, and black-and-white photographs depicting scenes of the Harvard Commencement and University of Oxford Convocation. Photographs include general views of the crowds in Harvard Yard during the commencement and convocation exercises, honorary degree recipients, and attendees such as Harvard President James B. Conant, University of Oxford Chancellor Lord Viscount Halifax, emeritus Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall, and Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison. The records also include items assembled in a volume and a scrapbook by Jerome D. Greene, Secretary to the Harvard Corporation, related to the Harvard Commencement and University of Oxford Convocation. Among these items is a list of Harvard students receiving diplomas during graduation, a Harvard Alumni Association order of exercises for a meeting held by the Association during commencement, and newspaper pictures depicting the commencement procession, degree presentations, honorary degree recipients, general views of the crowd in Harvard Yard, and images of Harvard President James B. Conant, University of Oxford Chancellor Lord Viscount Halifax, and emeritus Harvard President Abbott Lawrence Lowell.

    General

    This document last updated 2014 June 20.

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    Superseded call numbers

    To assist researchers in identifying materials noted in previous citations, the list below provides references from obsolete call numbers to new call numbers and box numbers. Please use the current call number, UAI 20.941.2, with the appropriate box number in place of superseded call numbers when citing material from this collection.

    Container List


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