Early records of the Steward, 1649-1812: Records of the Steward of Harvard University: Records of the Harvard Steward

About this Collection

Harvard University , Steward.
Receipts.Account books.Bills (financial).
Collection Title
Early records of the Steward, 1649-1812Records of the Steward of Harvard UniversityRecords of the Harvard Steward
2.67 cubic feet (16 volumes, 1 document box, and 19 folders)
Harvard University Archives

Content Notes

The collection documents the activities of the Harvard Steward in the 17th and 18th centuries through a financial prism. The materials consist of financial records in the form of accounting books, bonds, bills, and receipts. The documents in the collection, at their most basic level, may be understood as evidence of the Steward's two key pecuniary responsibilities: collecting money from students and paying money out to keep the school's facilities functioning. The collection offers information on the daily needs of Harvard students, and also places students and their families within the socio-economic structure of the larger community. The collection also documents changing commodity prices, payment methods, the costs, quantities, and types of supplies needed to maintain the institution, and the names of laborers and merchants who conducted business with the Steward.|The collection includes records created by Stewards Thomas Chesholme, Andrew Bordman I, Aaron Bordman, Andrew Bordman II, Andrew Bordman III, Jonathan Hastings, and Caleb Gannet.

Biographical Notes

The Harvard Steward was elected by the Corporation to manage the residential operations of the College. The Steward purchased the College's food provisions and fuel, and supervised the Butler and kitchen staff. The Steward also acted as the financial liaison between the students and the Corporation, collecting tuition, and room and board fees. The early history of the position remains incomplete, but the College appointed its first Steward in the mid 1640s. The demands on the Steward grew over time with the expansion of the College's physical plant and the size of the student body. In 1874, the Steward's title, reflecting a more finance-oriented position, was changed to Bursar.