Harvard/Radcliffe Online Historical Reference Shelf
I began the database in 1978, as assistant librarian at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, with the encouragement of Angela Giral, head librarian. The first list contained just Harvard buildings, but I gradually expanded it to all of Cambridge. I started with published secondary sources, and then eventually worked through atlases, building permits, tax records, deeds, and directories.
The focus of the list is the history of the design of Cambridge buildings. It provides only a framework for further research. For the most part, in this web version of the database, I have listed those sources which I have been able to examine and assign to a specific building or site, but have omitted those which I was unable to identify. I have also tried to include some secondary sources which contain illustrations. Users of this list are urged to check the originals themselves, and to consult the Harvard University Archives, the Cambridge Historical Commission and other repositories, where they can find fuller information and many additional sources which have not been examined or listed by me.
The illustrations are all from my own slides, photographed with various Nikon cameras between 1982 and 2000.
Special thanks for planning and carrying out the web version of this document are given to Robin McElheny and Kate Bowers of the Harvard University Archives and to Wendy Gogel and Jon Whitney of the Harvard University Library.