Multiculturalism and Ethnic Studies Collections

Uncover opportunities for interdisciplinary exploration into the documentation and study of race and ethnicity at Harvard and globally.
Water carrier, Sicuani, Southern Peru. From the Records of the Harvard College Observatory. View Details.
Harvard University Archives

The Harvard University Archives' collections useful for multiculturalism and ethnic studies include a wide range of primary source materials related to the history, philosophy, language, and culture of peoples of different ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds.

Thera excavation slides, Thera-Santorini excavation, 1968.
Thera excavation slides, Thera-Santorini excavation, 1968. View Details.
Harvard University Archives

These collections explore a wide variety of themes, including:

  • migration and immigration
  • native North and South American colonization
  • indigenous and ancient civilizations
  • anthropology and ethnography
  • linguistics
  • archeology

Encompassing both the intellectual investigation of these subject areas and first-hand documentation of indigenous civilizations and cultures, materials come from a variety of sources and appear in different formats. Examples of these collections include the archives of:

Kun-hua Ko, an instructor in Chinese at Harvard, circa 1880.
Kun-hua Ko, an instructor in Chinese at Harvard, circa 1880. View Details.
Harvard University Archives

The 17th and 18th century collections chronicle early colonization of North America by European settlers of Massachusetts and other parts of New England in a variety of ways. For example, they reveal the relationships between local Native American nations and Harvard, Harvard’s endeavor to establish the Indian College, and the Mashpee Revolt of 1833.

Rabbinical manuscripts of Judah Monis, circa 1700s.
Rabbinical manuscripts of Judah Monis, circa 1700s. View Details.
Harvard University Archives

These collections are also rich in audio-visual accounts of world cultures and geography. Highlights include:

  • The records of the Harvard College Observatory’s Boyden Station, which contain extensive photographic and hand-drawn documentation of the people and landscape of Peru and Chile in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Linguist Karl van Duyn Teeter’s research data, which contains recordings of the last native speaker of the Wiyot language, Della Prince
  • Archeologist Emily Dickinson Townsend Vermeule’s records of excavations in Greece and Cyprus, which include contemporary slides and photos of these archaeological sites

Accessing These Materials

This guide details how to access materials held by the Harvard University Archives.

Contact

Harvard University Archives