The first periodical published at Harvard was "The Lyceum," which appeared in July, 1810. It was a bi-weekly magazine of about twenty-four pages, which lasted through eighteen numbers. Among its principal contributors were Edward Everett, Samuel Gilman, author of "Fair Harvard," and Nathaniel Frothingham. The contributions consisted of poetry, short essays and criticisms.
In 1827, sixteen years after the last publication of the "Lyceum," three Seniors founded the "Register." Its motto was "I won't philosophize and I will be read." It contained thirty-two pages and was issued monthly for seven numbers. Although this magazine was more readable than its predecessor, it, too, lost its force by imitation of the great English magazines of the day.
In January, 1830, "The Collegian," the ablest of all Harvard periodicals was started, principally through the efforts of J. O. Sargent '30, the only editor of the "Register" then in College. It was in this paper that Oliver Wendell Holmes began his literary career, taking for his assumed name "Frank Hock." His writings were more numerous than those of any other contributor and were copied throughout the country. Twelve of them have since been published with his later works. In style, the "Collegian" was light and witty, and was for the first time the voice of current events and opinions about College. The paper, however, was short lived, extending only through six monthly numbers.
In 1835, the first number of "The Harvardianna" was issued. Longer lived than the others, it lasted four years, being handed down to three Seniors every year. James Russell Lowell was one of its editors.
Sixteen years passed before another literary enterprise was undertaken. In the spring of 1851, as a result of a movement started by a Sophomore secret society called the "Sphinx" the "Harvard Magazine was founded. Such an unusual amount of interest was manifested in this venture that the Magazine continued for ten years. At the end of that time, however, it shared the fate of its predecessors. The Magazine was at its best during the years 1858 and 1859. One of its most prominent editors was Phillips Brooks '55.
In March, 1866, three students started a new magazine under the old name of "The Collegian." This was the first journal in the form of a newspaper. Owing to a disrespectful allusion to the Faculty and an over regard for the motto of the paper "Dulce est Periculum," the career of "The Collegian" was brought to an abrupt end after the publication of three numbers. In May of the same year the first number of the "Advocate" appeared. It was founded by three Juniors of the class of '67, all of whom were former editors of the "Collegian." The motto of the paper was "Veritas nihil veretur." Notwithstanding the hard struggle the paper at first had to keep alive, it was finally placed on a sound financial basis.
In January, 1873, 'The Magenta" appeared with the favorite motto "I won't philosophize and I will be read." The "Magenta" made another step in the direction of the successful college periodical by publishing more news and statistics than any previous paper. With the issue for May 21, 1875, the name "Magenta" was changed to "Crimson." Under this name the magazine continued on as a bi-weekly until 1883, when it was forced to suspend publication.
In January, 1880, another "Register" appeared. This was a monthly magazine averaging about sixty-five pages. It was discontinued in 1881.
On February 10, 1876, came the first number of the "Lampoon," which appeared fortnightly until June 25, 1880, when lack of money compelled its discontinuation. The illustrating for the paper was done by the heliotype process. Among the contributors who have since become successful artists were Robert Grant '73 and F. S. Sturgis '75. In March, 1881, the "Lampoon" was again started, this time with better success. The "Daily Echo" was published from December 9, 1879, to June 22, 1882. From the fact that the undertaking was attended with some risk, the names of the editors of the first and second volumes were not published.
On January 3, 1882, began College journalism as it is today, with the publication of the "Daily Herald." During the nine months of its existence the names of its editors were not published. On October 8, 1883, the Herald became the "Herald-Crimson" and continued as such until May 7, 1884, when it became the "Daily Crimson." Not until October 8, 1886, did the editors become known. In 1891 the paper became "The Crimson."
In the meantime other magazines were started, the "Monthly," founded in 1885, the "Law Review" in 1887, the "Graduates' Magazine" in 1892, and the "Bulletin" in 1898.