Harvard, in Miniature

In 1950, Harvard students entering Widener Library could feast their eyes on three dioramas depicting miniaturized campus history. If they turned right, they could picture themselves standing in 1677, when Old College stood where Grays Hall is now and the original Harvard Hall had not yet burned down.

Pitman Model of Harvard as It Was in 1775

This 1947 photo shows the Pitman diorama of Harvard in 1775 looking down Cambridge Common. The year before campus became quarters for American militiamen amid the Revolution, Harvard Yard had only a dotting of colonial buildings.

The 1976 Harvard Murder That None of Us Remember

Puopolo’s stabbing reverberated both at the University level and nationwide — yet eventually, his story stopped being told. Most current undergraduates would not know the Combat Zone existed, let alone that a Harvard student met his tragic end there.

'Puts a Frame Around the Wreckage'

From 1973 to 1990, Harold L. Humes lived out his final years as a magnetic fixture of Cambridge. Wherever Doc went, people followed. Whenever Doc talked, people listened. He was full of charm and new ideas, with every cop and every student drawn to keep an eye on what he did next.

Behind the Bust of W.E.B. Du Bois

The painful contradictions of American history seem to be contained within this bust. What Hancock’s motivations or personal convictions were cannot be known, and perhaps remain the greatest mystery of this story. But it is clear that his role in sculpting both the bust and the monument at Stone Mountain raise a host of vital questions about what it means to commemorate, and how the ways in which we memorialize reflect the values of our society.

The Old Mole, Harvard's "Radical Bi-Weekly"

The history of the Old Mole, the leftist magazine run by Harvard students from 1968 to 1970, is largely composed of hearsay and conflicting stories. Created as a means to criticize the government and social establishments in the unrest of the Vietnam War era, the Old Mole gave Harvard students an outlet with minimal censorship.

The Proud Portrait of Richard T. Greener

Greener’s rosy recollection of Harvard reflects a series of contradictions that characterized his life, both during and after college. Greener was a light-skinned Black man straddling racial divides in a segregated world. He received life-changing opportunities at a university where he struggled with loneliness and lacked faculty support. And despite his tremendous contributions in activism and public service, he remains relatively unknown to historians today.

Monks, Merchants, Samaritans, Spies: A Story About The Harvard Crimson, a Cambodian Temple, a Trappist Monastery, and a New Delhi Satellite City

Every article that has ever appeared in The Crimson’s pages, going back to the paper’s founding in 1873, is online — not scanned, but fully typed. Anyone who cares to look can find the results of the Harvard-Yale game of 1887, for example, simply by searching for it on The Crimson’s website. It took a concerted effort for those past editions to be put online. But nobody seemed to remember anymore exactly how or when that effort had taken place. Had it really been monks? No one could tell me.

A Springtime Storm

Until this year, the spring of 1970 appears to be the only semester in Harvard’s history during which the College offered a schoolwide pass-fail option. Now, the spring 2020 semester has become the second. The circumstances surrounding each decision, however, are more different than they are similar.

Getting a Good Marxist Education, According to Harvard Students

The Harvard Communist was published by Harvard’s Youth Communist League in the 1930s and 40s. While the publication initially served as a platform for communist ideologies, it later transitioned into a collection of succinct news items, informed by communist analysis.

Civics Club Retro

The Radcliffe Civics Club united students of drastically differing political backgrounds under one umbrella during its brief tenure in the early twentieth century.

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