Harvard University Archives

& Records Management
Today: 11am - 4pm

Highlights

At Harvard’s primary repository of university records and personal archives, find centuries of people, discoveries, and change on campus and worldwide

  • Discover Harvard’s history
  • Manage University records
  • Engage with archival materials
  • Explore digital collections
Exhibits are free and open to the public. The reading room is open to researchers with Harvard ID and/or Harvard Library access pass.

Using the Archives

Ask an Archivist
Have a question about Harvard, past or present? Use our web form to connect to reference archivists who can help you find the information you need. Answers to many frequently asked questions are available, too.

Teaching with the Archives

We welcome and encourage teaching with our collections and can provide engaging archival experiences for students. Whether in person or virtual, our staff is ready to connect students to our collections.

Students examine materials in the Archives as part of a class.
Students examine materials in the Archives as part of a class.

Archivists are ready to collaborate with instructors to create interactive, hands-on experiences with archival materials. We offer:

  • help with finding archival material for your course
  • customized course sessions
  • research guides tailored to topics and assignments
  • individual research consultations with students

For more information or to schedule a session at the University Archives for your class, please use the Archives and Special Collections Class Request Form.

Collection Development and Records Management Services

Records Management Services, part of the Harvard University Archives, provides guidance to University staff, faculty, and administrators on how to understand their responsibilities for stewarding and managing their Harvard materials and records.

Our world-class collections are built on generous donations of materials by Harvard community members across the world, and we work with University faculty and staff, as well as individual donors, to identify materials for donation. 

What's Happening

About

Welcome Message from Virginia Hunt, University Archivist 

 

Virginia Hunt, University Archivist

Welcome to the Harvard University Archives! 

Containing 400 years of Harvard, American, and world history, our collections are open to the public and accessible through visits to our Reading Room and exhibition gallery in Pusey Library—both situated right in Harvard Yard—as well as via the constellation of Harvard Library access and discovery portals.

As the primary repository for Harvard’s records and personal archives, you will find over five centuries of innovation, exploration, revolution, and introspection—the soul of Harvard—on campus and worldwide.  A product of careful stewardship, community engagement, and interconnectedness, our vast and inclusive collections provide opportunities for remote and hands-on teaching and learning, public and educational programs, individual and scholarly pursuit, and opportunities for interaction between the creators and users of the University Archives. 

We invite you to come and experience the people, discoveries, change, and history that make up the Harvard University Archives.

Accessibility of the Harvard University Archives

  • The closest accessible entrance to the Harvard Map Collection and Pusey Library is the main entrance to Lamont Library. This entrance can be accessed via Quincy Street and is accessible by automatic door and ramp. There are two elevators that go down to level B of Lamont that connects to Level 1 of Pusey Library and the Harvard University Archives.
  • Lamont Library is not open to the public. If you don’t have a Harvard ID please let us know you are coming and will be entering through Lamont so we can alert the guards.

Contact Hannah Hack, hannah_hack@harvard.edu, with questions about accessibility of elevators, study spaces, meeting rooms, and restrooms.

Mission

The Harvard University Archives, a unit of the Harvard Library, has authorization derived from votes of the Harvard Corporation. The Archives supports the University's mission of education and research by preserving and providing access, to the greatest extent possible, to Harvard's historical records; gathering an accurate, authentic, and complete record of the life of the University; and promoting the highest standards of management for Harvard's current records.

History

Authorized by a vote of the President and Fellows of Harvard College in 1851, the Harvard University Archives is believed to be the oldest institutional archives in the United States established by a corporation.

The mission and the authorization for the work of the Harvard University Archives derive from a succession of votes by the Harvard Corporation

Staff Directory

 

Administration

Public Services

Technical Services

Collection Development and Records Management Services