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This collection is arranged in six series.
The American Academic Freedom Project at Columbia conducted a historical survey of the rise, development and changes in academic freedom in the history of the United States, and an analysis of the contemporary situation, including a study of the respective roles of governing boards, administrative officers, faculties and students. The 1955 volume, Academic Freedom in Our Time: A Study prepared for the American Academic Freedom Project at Columbia University, was undertaken by the Director Robert. M. MacIver. This collection includes the Project's research and administrative files as well as the book's editorial and publication files. The material is arranged under such headings as Censorship, Pressure Groups, Communism, Student Rights, etc. and includes pamphlets, newspaper clippings, reports, and correspondence. The general theme of the book was the same as that of the Columbia University Bicentennial in 1954, "Man's right to knowledge and the free use thereof."
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
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.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Columbia University American Academic Freedom Project records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
No additions are expected.
Ownership and Custodial History
Gift of the Academic Freedom Committee, 1956.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Academic Freedom Committee. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1956. Accession number--M-56.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 05/04/89.
2023-08-21 Finding aid published (JR)
History / Biographical Note
The American Academic Freedom Project at Columbia was funded by a grant from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation. Led by its Director, Professor Emeritus R. M. MacIver, the study was planned to consist of two parts: one, a historical survey of the rise, development and changes in academic freedom in the history of the United States, and the other, an analysis of the contemporary situation, including a study of the respective roles of governing boards, administrative officers, faculties and students. The work was published in two companion volumes. The first part, The Development of Academic Freedom in the United States, was headed by Professors Richard Hofstadter and Walter P. Metzger of the Department of History. The second, Academic Freedom in Our Time: A Study prepared for the American Academic Freedom Project at Columbia University, was undertaken by the Director R. M. MacIver. The general theme of these books was the same as that of the Columbia University Bicentennial in 1954, "Man's right to knowledge and the free use thereof."
The project was formally launched in September 1951. The University set up an Executive Committee for the general planning and supervision of the project, which included seven Columbia staff members (Louis M. Hacker, Director of General Studies; Henry Steel Commager, History; Walter Gellhorn, Law; Arthur W. Macmahon, Public Administration; I.I. Rabi, Physics; Herbert W. Schneider, Philosophy and Religion; R. M. MacIver, Political Science and Sociology) and one from Yale (Wesley Sturges, Dean of the School of Law). There was also an Advisory Committee made up of national leaders in the fields of education, libraries and public life. The Project was also assisted by a research staff based in Low Library. In the book's acknowledgements, MacIver recognizes the services of Leo Koutouzos, who "efficiently undertook a major portion of the investigation and follow-up of cases, prepared and organized the materials used in the second on student affairs, and conducted an on-the-spot study of the so-called "self-investigation" at the University of Colorado." The records in this collection were created and organized by Koutouzos and the AAFP staff.
The Academic Freedom Committee was established in the spring of 1951 under a grant from Louis Rabinowitz to study this subject, with professor emeritus Robert M. McIver, Political Philosophy and Sociology, as Director. The work of the committee resulted in the publication of several works, including MacIver, Robert, ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN OUR TIME, Columbia University Press, 1955; and Hofstadter, Richard and Metzger, Walter, THE DEVELOPMENT OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN THE U.S.