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Literary History

The city of Cambridge has been highly literate since the foundation of Harvard in 1636. With almost 400 years of graduates loafing around Cambridge after school, the sheer quantity of literary history here is astonishing.

The first printing press in British North America would print the Bay Psalm Book, the continent’s first publication. Harvard boasts a collection of roughly 17 million books. From the powerhouse celebrity Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to the author of Curious George, Harvard Square has an incredible history of printing, storytelling, and poetry. Walk the back roads of Harvard Square and Brattle Street and relive the evolution of reading and writing in one of the nation’s most literate cities.

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  • Harvard Coop

  • Site of British America’s First Printing Press

  • Harvard Lampoon

  • Harvard Crimson

  • Grolier’s Poetry Shop

  • Widener Memorial Library

  • Stoughton and Hollis Halls

  • Charles Sumner Statue

  • Brattle House

  • Village Blacksmith

  • HA Rey House

  • T.S. Eliot Residence

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House


  • Private Tours begin at $300.00 (+tax), which covers a group of up to 10 guests for up to two hours.

  • Small group tours longer than two hours  are $150.00 (+tax) per hour per guide.

  • For customized tours in groups larger than 10, please contact us for pricing.

  • This tour can be delivered in Corporate attire, Colonial Period dress, or Victorian-era Dress, as requested.


  • The Longfellow House/Washington’s Headquarters Site is a National Park Service Site, and free tours are offered in the summer. We are happy to build in time for one of these tours, or to drop you off to take one for yourself.

  • We are happy to build in time to shop for books, or to send a reading list of the works mentioned on our tours. Please contact us for more on that.

  • We love to add on additional readings of works by each author mentioned on our tour. Please contact us if you’d like specific works read aloud during the tour by our professional staff of performers.

We Can't...

  • Please note that this is a specialty tour and subject to availability. Not all of our guides know/are able to deliver this tour at the quality and knowledge level we require of our staff. Thanks for understanding.​

  • Many of the ‘Houses' mentioned are private houses or institutions and may not be entered.

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