Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Columbia Forum records, 1956-1975

Summary Information


This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, memoranda, biographical forms, and promotional materials of The Columbia Forum, 1958-1975.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0250
Bib ID 4078629 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University
Title Columbia Forum records, 1956-1975
Physical Description 40.03 linear feet (78 document boxes and 6 record cartons)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. This collection is arranged in five series.



Editorial files of THE COLUMBIA FORUM, consisting of correspondence, manuscripts, memoranda, editorial reports, blurb and biographical forms, and promotional materials. These comprise the authors' morgue, organizational materials, Comments and Letters and "Before the House" sections, biographical and anthology files, and files of unpublished articles.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Columbia Forum records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.

Related Materials

In addition to the issues of the magazine, see The Columbia University forum anthology, edited by Peter Spackman & Lee Ambrose. (Call number B378.7CJ Sp11). Additional materials can be found in the Office of Provost records (UA#0083).

Alternate Form Available

Pearl S. Buck letter is on: microfilm.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of The Columbia Forum, 1975.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 05/04/89. Series V was processed by Joanna Rios in July 2019.

Revision Description

2012-04-09 xml document instance created by Alison Rhonemus.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2019-07-12 Added Series V (6 RCs) from the former University Archives collection US#0048 (5692952)

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Alumni Federation of Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Arts -- Periodicals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Alumni and alumnae Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Periodicals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Literature publishing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Periodicals -- Publishing -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The Columbia Forum was a quarterly journal for alumni started in 1957. As a replacement for the Columbia Alumni News, it was originally created to provide a forum for the thoughts and opinions of people who were in some way connected to Columbia, covering the entire range of the arts and sciences. It also included the Columbia Chronicle, a short section of news about the University. The publication was sent free-of-charge to alumni; non-alumni could subscribe or buy single copies with the proceeds going to the Columbia General Scholarship Fund. Writers for the Forum included such well-known Columbia professors as Peter Gay, Richard Hofstadter, Moses Hadas, Eric Bentley, Fritz Stern, and Ivar Berg. An anthology of the quarterly was published in 1968, edited by Peter Spackman and Lee Ambrose.

In October 1970, the University announced that the Forum's budget allotment would be discontinued and that Winter 1970 issue would be its last. The Forum appealed to its readers for funding pledges and it was soon reinstated as a non-official University publication. The Winter 1971 issue was the first of the new magazine and was also the last under the auspices of the University, mailed free to alumni. Subsequent issues were paid for by subscriptions and donations on its way to becoming a self-sustaining magazine, featuring no advertisements. The magazine was unable to become financially independent. With declining subscriptions and increasing debt, the Forum ceased publication in 1975.