Campus & Community

This month in Harvard history

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Sept. 19, 1782 – The Harvard Corporation votes to establish the Medical School, following a detailed plan from President Joseph Willard and Professor Edward Wigglesworth. The plan calls for new books in chemistry and medicine, “a complete anatomical and surgical apparatus,” three new professorships, and organized lectures with required clinical components.

Sept. 1877 – Justin Winsor becomes College Librarian and operates on the revolutionary principle that books should be used as much and as conveniently as possible. His ideas soon take practical form with the expansion of the undergraduate reserved-book system (begun two or three years earlier) and the introduction of stack privileges for students and officers of the University.

Sept. 1879 – “The Harvard Crimson” delivers its first pronouncement on the arrival of studious women at the new “Harvard Annex” (as Radcliffe College’s predecessor is first called):

“We take the occasion to report to our Western exchanges who have already begun to talk about women at ‘cultivated’ Harvard, that the Private College for Women is entirely separate from the College. It is controlled by persons who have no connection with the University, and is merely a means of offering private instruction to women under some of the most eminent professors in the country.”

– From the Harvard Historical Calendar, a database compiled by Marvin Hightower