The Harvard University Archives’ collections of personal archives and papers document the professional, intellectual, public, and in many cases family lives of Harvard faculty and others associated with the University.
While these collections represent a wide range of academic disciplines and research interests, they also document the subject's full life and work. This allows us to tell as comprehensive a story as possible about life and work at Harvard and our community.
Faculty archives provide rich sources for the study of the educational, political, scientific, cultural, and social landscape over the last four centuries within Harvard and across the world.
Collection subjects encompass nearly every discipline taught and studied at Harvard, but also reflect a wide range of non-scholarly activities our faculty have engaged in over their lives. This includes local, national, and international leadership roles; literary pursuits; artistic endeavors; and social justice and political activism.
These collections include the papers of:
- 18th century scientists John Winthrop and Samuel Williams
- Philosophers Josiah Royce and John Rawls
- Ethnomusicologist and African music scholar Eileen Southern
- Astronomer Annie Jump Cannon
- Government policy experts who have served as presidential advisors such as Samuel Huntington and Paul Doty
- Several Nobel laureates, such as Norman Ramsey, Wassily Leontief, George Wald, and Robert Burns Woodward
Our faculty collections also contain unexpected and fascinating treasures, such as:
- Documents from Revolutionary War patriots and governmental leaders in the early years of the United States
- Recordings of famous individuals as students, for example John F. Kennedy
- Insight into the experiences of faculty as part the LGBTQ community in the mid to late 20th century
- Letters from African-American luminaries such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
- and candid personal photographs of literary figures like Lillian Hellman
Accessing These Materials
This guide details how to access materials held by the Harvard University Archives.