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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 6 series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Biographical of Name Files; Series III: Subject Files; Series IV: Manuscripts; Series V: Photostats; Series VI: Note Card Files.
Miner's correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, manuscript and typescript notes, and printed materials relating to the history of Columbia University. Interfiled with Miner's papers are the correspondence, manuscripts, and notes of Columbia librarian Roger Howson (1882-1962) who had been writing a history of the University at the time of his retirement in 1948. Howson and Miner's correspondence is chiefly with Columbia University administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni and deals entirely with the history of the university. The two major Columbia correspondents are Provost Frank D. Fackenthal and Secretary Philip M. Hayden. There are manuscript and typescript drafts of chapters and parts of chapters by Howson and Miner, but neither's history was ever completed or published. These drafts along with the related correspondence, notes, and typescript copies of original manuscripts from Columbia's archives and manuscript collections are filed together under the appropriate headings in the Name and Subject Files. In addition there are two partially completed typescript drafts of each history.
Also included are two incomplete typescripts for the history of the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Faculty of Pure Sciences written by various individuals. These histories were meant to be included in THE BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (1954) which was edited by Miner. The collection contains over 120,000 note cards on the history of the University and approximately 750 photostatic copies of original manuscripts with references to Columbia in other repositories. Among these copies are selected photostats from the Francis Lieber Papers at the Henry Huntington Library
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
The following boxes are located offsite: Boxes 2-47. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
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); Dwight D. Miner papers on the history of Columbia University; Box and Folder; Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
No additions are expected.
Type of reproduction--Photostatic copies in part
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 08/--/89.
2020-03-18 PDF replaced with full finding aid (JR)
History / Biographical Note
Historian. Miner began teaching history at Columbia in 1927 and held the rank of Moore Collegiate Professor of History Emeritus at his death. (Columbia University A.B., 1926; A.M., 1927; Ph.D., 1940).
Born in 1904, Miner grew up in Morningside Heights and as a child, saw the campus built in his own neighborhood. He received his BA in 1926, MA in 1927 and PhD in 1940. He joined the faculty as a member of the Contemporary Civilization Department in 1927, became full professor in 1940 and was named the Moore Collegiate Professor of History in 1967. He was associated with Columbia as a student and professor for a combined 56 years.
Miner wrote The fight for the Panama route : the story of the Spooner act and the Hay-Herrán treaty (1940) and served as editor of the volumes for the Bicentennial history of Columbia University (1954-1956). Miner was also a favorite among students for his course lectures and his story-telling at the annual Yule Log ceremony. Time Magazine once pictured him on its cover as one of the nation's ten great college teachers. Miner delivered a yearly lecture on the history of Columbia College during freshmen orientation. As the student newspapers, the Spectator, wrote in 1945: "We almost wish we were freshmen again so that we could again enjoy the riotous anecdotes from Columbia's past that Prof. Miner recounts with such skill. Hearing his is a rare experience." (1945 July 20, page 2) For over 40 years, Prof. Miner shared with the freshmen his own experiences and the history of Columbia College. He continued to teach Contemporary Civilization until his retirement in 1973 but even retired, he would return to campus for the famous orientation speech.