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UAIII 15.5.1

Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Admission lists, 1743-1764: an inventory

Harvard University Archives

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Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAIII 15.5.1
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Title: Admission lists, 1743-1764
Date(s): 1743-1764
Quantity: .26 cubic feet (1 half-legal document box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection contains handwritten lists of Harvard freshmen entering the College in the years 1743-1753, 1758, and 1760-1764 which correspond to the Harvard Classes of 1747-1757, 1762, and 1764-1768. The admission lists provide the first documentary evidence of a student's life at Harvard and were presumably created in the early days of the fall semester.

Acquisition information:

The documents in this collection are University records and were acquired in the course of University business.

Processing Information:

The material was first classified and described in the Harvard University Archives shelflist prior to 1980. The collection was previously classified as part of the records of the Harvard University Corporation. The material was re-processed in 2011. Re-processing involved a collection survey, re-housing in appropriate archival folders and boxes, and the creation of this finding aid.
This finding aid was created by Diann Benti in August 2011.
Preservation and description of the Admission lists was supported by the Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

Researcher Access:

The Admission lists are open for research.

Copying Restriction:

Copying of fragile materials may be limited.

Online access:

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

Preferred Citation:

Harvard University. Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Admission lists, 1743-1764. UAIII 15.5.1, Harvard University Archives.

Related Materials

In the Harvard University Archives

Historical note

In the 18th century, prospective Harvard students appeared before the president and at least two tutors on a publicized date shortly before Commencement for an entrance examination. As specified in the College Laws, if the student successfully displayed sufficient knowledge of both Latin and Greek and indicated a good moral character, he was granted admission to Harvard. Most Harvard freshmen were from nearby Massachusetts towns, and while their ages ranged from twelve to the mid-twenties, most freshmen were between fourteen and seventeen when they entered the College. To attend Harvard, students needed to sign a copy of the College Laws that was then certified by College officers (known as an admittatur) and have a parent or guardian provide a bond to the College Steward for the student's future expenses. Classes began in the middle of August, and until 1769, in the spring semester of the Class's freshman year, the Faculty created a permanent seniority ranking of the students and recorded it in the Faculty Minutes with the student information collected on the admission lists.

References

Arrangement

The records are arranged in chronological order.

Scope and Content

This collection contains handwritten lists of Harvard freshmen entering the College in the years 1743-1753, 1758, and 1760-1764 which correspond to the Harvard Classes of 1747-1757, 1762, and 1764-1768. The admission lists provide the first documentary evidence of a student's life at Harvard and were presumably created in the early days of the fall semester.
The lists are written on folio-sized loose leaves, and they all appear to be in the hand of President Edward Holyoke (who served as Harvard president from 1737 to 1769). All of the lists contain entries with the student's name, hometown, age at admission, and date of birth, except for the 1758 freshmen list which only contains student surnames. The order in which the student names appear on the list does not appear to reflect any ranking. From 1743 until 1760, the lists are titled "Catalogue of freshmen," and from 1764 to 1764, they are titled "Recentes approbati."
The documents have water and mold damage and are very fragile. Many of the documents are missing text due to paper loss.
Item titles are transcribed from document versos.

General

This document last updated 2015 January 8.

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