Spaces: Sacred and Profane

Appleton Chapel. HUV 53 (1-1a)

Tour Registration Required

The Cambridge Historical Society is hosting its fifth annual Open Archives Tour, June 17-21, 2013, with the theme Spaces: Sacred and Profane. The Harvard University Archives is participating in this tour along with twelve other organizations throughout Cambridge.

To illustrate the theme, each archives will display unique materials, including photographs, correspondence, ephemera, and more, offering a rare look inside some of Cambridge’s most fascinating archives. There will be twelve archives tours featured over five days with a special "Ask an Archivist" program on the final day.


For more information and reservations, contact the Cambridge Historical Society: 617-547-4252 or




Appleton Chapel

Appleton Chapel, pictured above, was built in 1858 at a cost of nearly $68,000.00, funded primarily through the bequest of merchant and philanthropist Samuel Appleton of Boston. The chapel, which stood on the site currently occupied by Memorial Church, was the second building erected in the College Yard designed solely for public worship.

The first separate building for worship at Harvard was Holden Chapel, built in 1744. Holden Chapel was used exclusively for religious services until 1766, when a larger chapel was provided in Harvard Hall, which also housed the library, lecture hall, kitchen and dining space. From 1814 until 1858, religious services were held in the chapel (now the Faculty Room) in University Hall. Appleton Chapel was replaced by Memorial Church, dedicated in 1932.