Founded in 1897, the Harvard Historical Society has had its history recorded in the HISTORY OF HARVARD, 1894-1941 commissioned by the Society and compiled by Ida Harris, and in DIRECTIONS OF A TOWN, compiled by Robert Anderson in 1976. Under the leadership of a small nucleus of loyal and dedicated individuals, it has endeavored to bring together people interested in the history of their community. Its goal of “Preserving Harvard’s Past for Harvard’s Future” has led it to collect materials which illustrate the history of the town, such as those pertaining to exploration, settlements, economics, social, religious and political development. This collection includes histories, genealogies, biographies, descriptive literature, dictionaries, newspapers, pamphlets, catalogues, circulars, handbills, local posters and programs. Unpublished materials including letters, diaries, journals, reminiscences, military rosters, service records, business records, account books, charts, and surveys are also a part of the archival collection. Artifacts such as furniture, household goods, costumes, farm implements tools, simple machines, china and silver comprise some of the museum collection as well as photographs, portraits, paintings, prints, maps, mineral specimens and firearms.
The Harvard Historical Society arouses interest in the past by operating a small museum and providing school services. It also publishes historical materials, holds public meetings, presents programs and marks historic sties within the town.