Campus & Community

Harvard’s Mobile Yard Tour app

2 min read

Learn more about the University’s rich history as it celebrates 375 years

Harvard University is commemorating its 375th anniversary this year with a special gift — a mobile tour of Harvard Yard for visitors, neighbors, and members of the Harvard community.

With any web-enabled smartphone, the Harvard Mobile Yard Tour app allows users to take a self-guided tour to learn more about the University’s rich history as they explore Harvard Yard. For example, users will learn which Harvard building housed George Washington and his troops during the Revolutionary War, view colonial artifacts dug from the Yard by archaeology students, and see how the University is using technology to make its collections accessible to anyone with a computer. Users will also hear from students on what it’s like to live in Massachusetts Hall, view President Drew Faust’s office, and learn the history of the wooden water pump in the Yard.

A collaborative effort between Harvard Public Affairs and Communications and the Office of the University Marshal, the tour features writing and narration by Harvard College students. Each of the 16 stops offers explanatory text about the significance of that location, as well as audio, video, and images with information in four categories:

  • Inside/Out: See what’s inside iconic Harvard Yard buildings not accessible to the general public.
  • Fast facts: Learn interesting facts about locations and events in the Yard.
  • Innovation: Understand Harvard’s commitment to innovation and discovery.
  • History: Learn about 375 years of enduring academic excellence and access to students around the world.

Though the walking tour is intended for users located in the Yard, the app can also be downloaded from any location for a remote tour experience.

To get started, users need a web-enabled smartphone or an iPhone. The tour is accessible on your mobile device at or can be downloaded from the iTunes App store. In addition, visitors can still learn about the Harvard campus by visiting the Information Center in Holyoke Center.