Archives News: 400th Online Finding Aid

Oxford Convocation at Harvard, 1941. Harvard University Archives, UAI 20.941.2

Harvard University Archives uploads 400th online finding aid

Finding aids provide descriptive and historical information about archival collections to help researchers find material of interest more easily.

The Harvard University Archives recently uploaded its 400th finding aid to OASIS, Harvard’s OnLine Archival Search Information System.  The finding aid describes records relating to the Oxford Convocation, held on June 19, 1941. As the war in Europe wore on, Oxford dignitaries traveled to Harvard to award an honorary degree to President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Harvard AB 1904). The degree recognized Roosevelt for his commitment “against lawlessness and aggression abroad” and acknowledged Roosevelt’s support of Great Britain in World War II.

At the close of Harvard Commencement ceremonies that day, 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. Unable to attend the event himself due to health reasons, Roosevelt sent his aide and personal secretary, Major General Edwin M. Watson, to accept the degree on his behalf and read a personal message from Roosevelt.  To reciprocate this honor, Harvard bestowed an honorary degree upon British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a ceremony at Harvard on September 6, 1943.

Other recently created finding aids to Archives' collections include:

Please contact the Archives reference staff at archives_reference@harvard.edu for more information about access to these collections.