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Harvard A to Z

Harvard A to Z

John T. Bethell, Richard M. Hunt, Robert Shenton

ISBN 9780674012882

Publication date: 04/30/2004

Open this book and step into the storied corridors of the nation’s oldest university; encounter the historic landmarks and curiosities; and among them, meet the famous dropouts and former students, the world-class scholars, eccentrics, and prodigies who have given the institution its incomparable character.

An alphabetical compendium of short but substantial essays about Harvard University—its undergraduate college and nine professional schools—this volume traverses the gamut of Harvardiana from Aab and Admissions to X Cage and Z Closet. In between are some two hundred entries written by three Harvard veterans who bring to the task over 125 years of experience within the university. The entries range from essential facts to no less interesting ephemera, from the Arnold Arboretum designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to the peculiar medical specimens of the Warren Museum; from Arts and Athletics to Towers and Tuition: from the very real environs (Cambridge, Charles River, and Quincy Street) to the Harvard of Hollywood and fiction.

Harvard A to Z is a browser’s delight, offering readers the chance to dip into the history and lore, the character and culture of America’s foremost institution of higher learning.


  • John T. Bethell was Senior Editor of The American Scholar and is a contributing editor at Harvard Magazine, where he was Editor from 1966 to 1995.
  • Richard M. Hunt (1926–2020) was a Harvard University Marshal and Senior Lecturer in Social Studies.
  • Robert Shenton (1924–2000) was the former Secretary of Harvard University’s Governing Boards.

Book Details

  • 408 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 9 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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