Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Joseph L. Blau papers, 1912-1987

Summary Information


Columbia, A.B., 1931; M.A., 1933; Ph.D., 1944. Professor of religion and philosophy at Columbia University. Member of Fraternity of Leaders of the American Ethical Union; author and scholar in field of American philosophical and religious thought. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, course materials, research notes, minutes, clippings, reprints of articles, as well as 25 inscribed or annotated books.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0126
Bib ID 4079527 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Blau, Joseph L. (Joseph Leon), 1909-1986
Title Joseph L. Blau papers, 1912-1987
Physical Description 15 linear feet (36 boxes)
Language(s) English .

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-36. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Boxes 11-12, Unpublished manuscripts, closed to all use except with the written permission of Rachel Blau Duplessis or Judith Blau Katz



Box 1-2: Cataloged and arranged correspondence; Boxes 3-14: Blau's writings; Boxes 15-17: Course materials; Boxes 18-22: Research materials; Boxes 23-24: Columbia activities; Boxes 25-26: Professional activities; Box 26: Miscellaneous; Boxes 27-29: Publicity; Boxes 30-36: Printed materials.


Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, course materials, research notes, minutes, clippings, reprints of articles, as well as 25 inscribed or annotated books. The cataloged correspondence includes letters from Alfred Kazin, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Alfred Knopf. The collection offers a comprehensive view of Dr. Blau's professional and intellectual interests during his 50 years of association with Columbia University, as well as an indication of his varied professional involvement with the American Council for Learned Societies, American Society for the study of Religion, Association for Jewish Studies, and the Society for Ethical Culture/American Ethical Union.

The papers of Joseph Leon Blau record almost sixty years of his association with the University, spanning the years from 1929 when he was an undergraduate at the College until 1986, the year of his death, nine years after his formal retirement from teaching. The bulk of this material falls into the years after Dr. Blau joined the faculty in 1944. Specifically, the collection documents Dr. Blau's scholarly interests throughout the 1950s and 1960s most extensively.

The collection consists both of Dr. Blau's office files in the religion department and personal files from his home. It includes much that pertains to his tenure as a member of the religion and philosophy departments, as well as material from his years as a student and from his associations with professional societies unaffiliated with Columbia.

The collection includes correspondence, minutes, clippings, research notes, course materials and manuscripts, typescripts, and reprints of articles, essays and books. It is divided into nine series, namely: Cataloged Correspondence; Arranged Correspondence; Writings; Course Materials; Research Materials; Columbia Activities; Professional Activities; Publicity; and Printed Materials (as well as a folder of miscellaneous items). Descriptions of the contents of these series appear below.

The collection offers a wealth of information to researchers in the fields of philosophy and religion. Its greatest strength is the amount and diversity of Blau's writings which it contains. Most of these writings are gathered together in the Writings Series, although Blau's mastery of the written word is also evident in the Correspondence Series--in particular, in his correspondence with former teachers such as Salo Baron and Herbert Schneider and with colleagues. The writings in this collection document Blau's thoughts on subjects both arcane and popular and enable one to track his development from the young man with a taste for poetry to the distinguished scholar of American philosophy and Judaism. Specifically, the manuscripts in various stages of revision reveal Blau thinking through new ideas, making unexpected connections, testing the borders between disciplines and, always and enthusiastically, beginning new projects. Above all the collection reveals that Blau's mind was encyclopedic, that he defined philosophy and religion broadly and then sought to become an expert on both.

What this collection is less able to suggest is the Blau who again and again declared his love for teaching and who lectured on religion and philosophy to Columbia students from 1944 until 1977. Although the collection contains numerous syllabi and exams, few lecture materials, particularly for the classes he taught in his later years, survive. In addition, although the collection reveals that Dr. Blau served on committees which were instrumental in the establishment of the Religion Department at Columbia, it offers little information documenting his role in this effort.

Finally, researchers should note that this collection is primarily a Columbia collection, that is, it mostly reflects Blau's experiences at the University and, consequently, neglects much that Blau-- as a man committed to taking an active role in his community-- didn't neglect.

The 1990 Addition includes correspondence with publishers, colleagues, friends, and family; articles, drafts of book manuscripts, addresses, and talks; Columbia course files, research files, and printed materials; and personal files of Blau and of his father Rabbi Joel Blau, 1912-1987. Among the cataloged correspondence added are 15 letters from Salo Baron and l letter from Albert Einstein to David Rothstein.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

The following boxes are located off-site: 2-36. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Boxes 11-12, Unpublished manuscripts, closed to all use except with the written permission of Rachel Blau Duplessis or Judith Blau Katz

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); Joseph L. Blau papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Archival Materials

Additional papers held at: Archives of the Ethical Culture Movement: Address--New York Society for Ethical Culture, Country--New York, NY.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Mrs Eleanor Blau, 1989 & 1990.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed HR 01/24/90.

Papers Processed BRC & AK 12/30/92.

Revision Description

2009-06-26 File created.

2012-10-09 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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

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:"
Addresses Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Announcements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Articles Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drafts (literary) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Essays Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Examinations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fiction (general genre) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Financial documents and records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lectures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (literary) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memoranda Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Outlines Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poems Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Programs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reports Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Syllabi Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theses Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
minutes (administrative records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Americal Council for Learned Societies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Ethical Union. Fraternity of Leaders Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Society for the Study of Religion Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Association for Jewish Studies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Authors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Baron, Salo W (Salo Wittmayer), 1895-1989 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Blanshard, Paul, 1892-1980 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boorstin, Daniel J (Daniel Joseph), 1914-2004 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buck, Pearl S (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
College teachers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Consultants Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Editors Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ethical culture movement Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Jewish philosophy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Judaism -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Judaism and philosophy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kazin, Alfred, 1915-1998 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Knopf, Alfred A., 1892-1984 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Learned institutions and societies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Philosophers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Philosophy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reform Judaism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Religion Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Religion -- Philosophy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rothstein, David, 1942- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scholars Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scrapbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Born in Brooklyn, New York on May 6, 1909, Dr. Blau received his elementary and high school education in the public schools of New York and New Jersey before entering Columbia. He was awarded his B.A. in 1931. Upon graduation he began teaching in New York's public schools; two years later he completed a thesis on John Biddle, the founder of English Unitarianism, and received an M.A. in English Literature from Columbia. In 1934 he was awarded a fellowship for work toward the Ph.D in Columbia's Philosophy Department. During the following years, Dr. Blau worked as an assistant to Prof. Herbert W. Schneider before completing and publishing his dissertation, The Christian Interpretation of the Cabala in the Renaissance in 1944.

In 1944 Dr. Blau joined Columbia's philosophy department. In succeeding years, he taught courses in American intellectual history and the philosophy of religion. In 1962 after teaching for nearly twenty years in the Philosophy Department, he became a member of the Department of Religion. He served as chairman of this newly-created department from 1965 to 1968 and as director of graduate studies in religion from 1962 to 1974.. During these years Dr. Blau taught undergraduate and graduate courses and seminars and directed dissertations on a wide variety of subjects. He retired from active teaching in June 1977.

During his years at Columbia Dr. Blau authored and edited several books in philosophy and religion including Social Theories of Jacksonian Democracy (1947); Cornerstones of Religious Freedom in America (1949; revised and enlarged ed., 1965); The Story of Jewish Philosophy (1962); and Modern Varieties of Judaism (1966). He is perhaps best known for his work Men and Movements in American Philosophy (1952) which was translated into six languages and became a standard textbook in universities throughout the world. In addition he wrote hundreds of essays, articles and book reviews for both popular and scholarly journals.

While a member of Columbia's.faculty, Dr. Blau was associated with many professional learned organizations including the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophic Association, the American Ethical Union and the American Jewish Historical Society. In addition he held several research fellowships and grants from both the University and outside institutions.

On December 28, 1986 Dr. Blau died at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

For further biographical information as well as a bibliography of Dr. Blau's writings, one may consult History, Religion, and Spiritual Democracy; Essays in Honor of Joseph L. Blau edited by Maurice Wohlgelernter (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980).

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only CU affiliates may view materials on-site. YOU MUST REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE PLACING REQUESTS. Email rbml@library.columbia.edu to request an appointment. You may submit a request for materials once your appointment is confirmed. Affiliates will login with their uni and password, and need to register the first time they make a request.

Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

Box 1 Cataloged correspondence

Letters to Blau from Pearl S. Buck, Alfred Kazin, Reinhold Niebuhr, Alfred Knopf, Daniel Boorstin, Paul Blanshard, and Salo Baron. Also, letter from Albert Einstein to David Rosenstein.

Series II: Arranged Correspondence

Subseries II.1: General Correspondence, 1932-1986

Series is almost evenly divided between letters received and carbons of letters sent. It includes all correspondence except that which is included in the Letters from Publishers, Permissions to Print or ACLS series (and some letters filed with specific essays or addresses).

Incoming and outgoing letters are arranged separately. Incoming letters are filed alphabetically; letters from unidentified correspondents are filed at the end of this sequence. Outgoing letters are filed chronologically by year; undated letters are filed at the end of this sequence.

Box 1 General correspondence, 1932-1986

Among the correspondents are Algernon Black, Arthur Hyman, Elizabeth Janeway, Elaine Pagels, Paul Pfeutze and Herbert Schneider.

Subseries II.2: Correspondence with Publishers, 1946-1986

Series consists of letters to Blau from book and periodical publishers as well as royalty statements from Prentice-Hall, Inc. relating toMen and Movements in American Philosophy. Also included are reader's reports of various authors' works submitted by Blau at the request of publishers, and a number of book contracts between Blau and various publishers.

The letters cover the years 1946-1986. Many of them are invitations to submit journal articles and book reviews or reminders from editors that publishing deadlines are near. The royalty statements were issued at six-month periods and cover the years 1952-1972. The reader's reports cover the years 1980-1981.

Letters are arranged chronologically; royalty statements, contracts, and reader's reports are filed separately and arranged chronologically.

Box 2 Correspondence with publishers, 1946-1986

Subseries II.3: Permissions to Print, 1951, 1962-1963

Series consists of letters from Blau and Salo Baron requesting permission to quote from manuscript materials inMen and Movements in American PhilosphyandJews of the United States: A Documentary Historyas well as letters from institutions and individuals in response to these requests.

Most of the letters are perfunctory; however some document the difficulties Blau and Baron encountered in obtaining permission to quote from personal papers inJews of the United States.

Letters for the two books are filed separately. Within this arrangement, request and permission letters are kept together and filed alphabetically under the name of the individual or institution granting permission.

Box 2 Permissions to print, 1951, 1962-1963

Series III: Writings

Subseries III.1: Book Drafts, circa 1947-1973, undated

Annotated typescripts and handwritten drafts of chapters, parts of chapters and outlines of chapters of books edited or authored by Blau includingSocial Theories of Jacksonian Democracy(1947),Men and Movements in American Philosophy(1952),Judaism: Postbiblical and Talmudic Periods(1954),William James: Pragmatism and Other Essays(1963)Francis Wayland: The Elements of Moral Science(1963),Cornerstones of Religious Freedom(rev. ed, 1964), andReform Judaism: A Historical Perspective(1973). More than half of these drafts have not been identified.

Arranged alphabetically by title of book when draft is identifiable; unidentified manuscripts are filed at the end of the alphabetical sequence.

Box 3 Book drafts, 1947-1973, undated

Box 4 Book drafts, 1947-1973, undated

Box 5 Book drafts and unidentified manuscripts, 1947-1973, undated

Subseries III.2: Articles and Essays, circa 1931-1986

Typescripts and, less often, manuscripts of Blau's shorter writings. Undated pieces were probably written in the 1950s and 1960s. Representative subjects of these essays are Jewish history and philosophy, John Dewey, David Hume, the history of American philosophy and the philosophy of religion. Several biographies of American thinkers are also included. Most were published in journals such as theJournal of Philosophy,theHumanistandJewish Social Studies.

Arranged alphabetically by title of article or essay.

Box 6 Articles and essays, 1931-1986

Box 7 Articles and essays, 1931-1986

Box 8 Articles and essays, 1931-1986

Box 9 Articles and essays, 1931-1986

Box 10 Articles and essays, 1931-1986

Subseries III.3: Book Reviews, circa 1939-1976

Mostly unmarked typescripts of one or two-page reviews and review notes written by Blau for publication in scholarly journals. Reviews are primarily of books in philosophy and religion such as Martin Buber'sTales of the Hasidimand Leonard White'sThe Federalists.

Arranged alphabetically by title of reviewed book.

Box 10 Book reviews, 1939-1976

Subseries III.4: Unpublished Manuscripts, undated

These boxes contain almost entire book drafts as well as a number of shorter articles that are suitable for publication.

Box 11 Unpublished manuscripts, undated

Box 12 Unpublished manuscripts, undated

Subseries III.5: Encyclopedia Articles, circa 1964

Reprints and original typescipts of short articles by Blau including a variety of biographies and topics in philosophy. These articles were published in theEncyclopedia of Philosophy,theEncyclopedia of Religion,and an encyclopedia published by the Arete Company. Also included are a group of encyclopedia articles whose eventual destination is unknown.

Arranged alphabetically by title of article.

Box 13 Encyclopedia articles, circa 1964

Subseries III.6: Fiction and Literary Criticism, circa 1929-1931

Typescripts and manuscripts of Blau's short stories (such as "Time and Chance; or How I Murdered My Great-Aunt") and literary criticism (such as "A Critical Study of the Elizabethan Sonnet Sequence") Most of these works were written for undergraduate and graduate English classes; some include instructor's comments.


Box 13 Fiction and literary criticism, 1929-1931

Subseries III.7: Poems, circa 1930 and 1943

Typescripts, carbons and clippings from Columbia magazines and newspapers of short poems by Blau. Also includes a 1943 NY Times Magazine clipping of Blau's poem "A Fantasy" with a typed draft.


Box 13 Poems, circa 1930, 1943

Subseries III.8: Addresses/Talks, circa 1949-1985, undated

Typescripts, manuscripts and photocopies of addresses--other than classroom lectures--delivered by Blau on a multitude of topics (similar to those of his essays). Most of these addresses were given at New York area ethical unions, and at universities across the country. Included is a series of lectures Blau delivered to the 92nd St. YW-YMHA. Also included are several tributes Blau gave to colleagues and friends (Salo Baron, for example).

Arranged alphabetically by title; untitled addresses are filed after this alphabetical sequence.

Box 13 Addresses/talks, circa 1949-1985, undated

Box 14 Addresses/talks and untitled addresses, circa 1949-1985, undated

Series IV: Course Materials

Subseries IV.1: Columbia University, circa 1946-1976, undated

Photocopies of syllabi, reading lists, handouts, and exams as well as typed and handwritten lecture notes for graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars taught at Columbia. Also included are outlines of planned courses Blau was to give.

Approximately 35 philosophy and 19 religion courses are represented, although for most courses only photocopies of syllabi and exams are included. Those courses with substantial lecture notes are Greek Philosophy, American Social Philosophy, History and Literature of American Philosophy, Philosophy of John Dewey and History of Judaism. Most philosophy course materials appear to be from the 1950s; most religion course materials appear to be from the 1960s.

Philosophy and Religion courses are arranged separately; when known, course name and number are indicated on folders. Materials are filed in course number order; those for which course number is unknown are filed after the numerical sequence. One folder of miscellaneous materials for which both course name and number are unknown is filed after both the religion and philosophy course materials. One folder of miscellaneous materials for philosophy courses taught at Barnard are filed after other philosophy course materials.

Box 15 Columbia University teaching materials, circa 1946-1976, undated

Box 16 Columbia University teaching materials, circa 1946-1976, undated

Subseries IV.2: Other Universities, 1948-1951, 1961-1962

Photocopies of syllabi and reading lists as well as handwritten lecture notes for philosophy and religion courses taught by Blau at The New School for Social Research, Baruch College, Vassar College, the University of Minnesota and the University of Arkansas. Also included is a typewritten outline of a course Blau proposed to teach at the John L. Elliot Institute in 1949.

Arranged in alphabetical order by name of institution.

Box 16 Teaching materials for other universities, 1948-1951, 1961-1962

Subseries IV.3: Class Notes, circa 1929-1934

Both typed and handwritten notes on loose sheets and index cards for philosophy and history courses Blau took as an undergraduate and graduate student at Columbia. Includes what appear to be typewritten lecture notes of Salo Baron's 1929 Survey of Jewish History course and of Herbert Schneider's philosophy department course, "Study of Religions." Also includes photocopies of miscellaneous syllabi and of an an incomplete 80-page outline of Eastern religions with some handwritten comments. Series also contains undergraduate papers and Blau's master's thesis on John Biddle, along with what appear to be Blau's father's notes at Columbia.

The history and philosophy course materials are arranged separately. Blau's notes for Baron's Jewish History course are filed with other history class notes; his notes for Schneider's religion course are filed with other philosophy class notes. Within that arrangement, papers and cards are filed in rough chronological order; the papers, other notes, miscellaneous photocopies, and undated materials are filed at the end.

Box 17 Columbia University class notes, circa 1929-1934

Subseries IV.4: Reports on High School Teaching, circa 1938-1940

Typescripts and carbon copies of reports written by Blau while a teacher of English and speech in New York public high schools. Titles of reports include "Classroom Use of Auditory Aids" and "The Function of Drills in the Teaching of Speech."

Arranged in alphabetical order by title of report.

Box 17 Reports on high school teaching, circa 1938-1940

Series V: Research Materials, circa 1944-1986, undated

Miscellaneous materials on a wide range of topics. This series consists of many articles and assorted writings by other authors that Blau was using in his research. Also included are many incomplete manuscripts and typescripts of Blau's, as well as some translations. Most materials are undated.

Arranged alphabetically by subject; a folder of miscellaneous materials follows the alphabetical sequence. Subjects which appear in quotation marks on folders are Blau's; untitled folders have been assigned subject headings on the basis of their apparent content. Individual folders contain index cards, scraps of paper, "blue books" and loose sheets arranged in little discernible order.

Box 18 Research materials, circa 1944-1986, undated

Box 19 Research materials, circa 1944-1986, undated

Box 20 Research materials, circa 1944-1986, undated

Box 21 Research materials, circa 1944-1986, undated

Box 22 Research materials, circa 1944-1986, undated

Series VI: Columbia Activities

Subseries VI.1: Committee on Admissions to Columbia College, 1954-1960

Photocopies and typescripts of Committee minutes, reports and memoranda regarding meeting schedules, nominations of faculty interviewers, applicant statistics and brief statements of admissions policies.

Arranged chronologically by year.

Box 23 Committee on Admissions to Columbia College, 1954-1960

Subseries VI.2: Committee on Facilities, 1961-1962

Photocopies and carbon copies of memoranda and reports received by Blau who, as a departmental representative, was involved with the renovations and reallocation of space in Hamilton Hall.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 23 Committee on Facilities, 1961-1962

Subseries VI.3: Council for Research in the Social Sciences, 1960-1964

Photocopies and some typescripts of minutes of Council meetings which Blau attended as a member of the Executive Committee. Also includes a photocopy of the 1960 Annual Report and a list of publications sponsored by the Council.

Box 23 Council for Research in the Social Sciences, 1960-1964

Subseries VI.4: Philosophy Department Minutes, Memoranda, etc., 1949-1960

Photocopies of memos to department faculty members detailing upcoming department lectures and events as well as minutes of department meetings at which course offerings and faculty appointments are discussed. Also includes minutes of the 1959 and 1960 meetings of the Committee on Instruction as well as Blau's roll book for 1949-1955.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 23 Philosophy Department materials, 1949-1960

Subseries VI.5: Religion Department Minutes, Memoranda, etc., 1961-1979

Photocopies and typescripts of minutes of meetings of the Department (beginning in 1962), and its predecessor, the interdepartmental Committee on Religious Studies. Series also contains some photocopies of minutes for the Joint Committee for the Ph.D in Religion as well as typescripts of proposed courses and of reading lists for religion majors.

Coverage of the irregularly scheduled department and committee meetings is sporadic: the years 1961 through 1963 are the most extensively represented; there are very few items relating to later years.

Minutes and memoranda for the Committees and the Departments are arranged separately arranged separately from the miscellaneous materials. Within that classification, materials are arranged chronologically by year; undated materials are filed at the end of chronological sequences.

Box 23 Religion Department materials, 1961-1979

Subseries VI.6: Stokes Prize Committee, 1951-1952

Memos and notes to and from Blau regarding the topic for an essay on the basis of which this academic prize is awarded.


Box 23 Stokes Prize Committee, 1951-1952

Subseries VI.7: University Seminar on American Civilization, 1954-1961

Photocopies of minutes of monthly seminars sponsored by Columbia and attended by Blau and other scholars interested in American studies. Also includes a photocopied directory of members and list of papers read.

Minutes are lengthy and incorporate papers presented at the seminar as well as ensuing discussions.

Only minutes of meetings 1-9, 11-19, 21, 23, 26, 28-32, 34-42, 44 and 46 are included.

Arranged in meeting number order.

Box 24 University Seminar on American Civilization, 1954-1961

Subseries VI.8: Other University Seminars, 1970-1980

Material relating to two other university seminars: On Israel and Jewish Studies, and On Studies in Religion.

Box 24 Other University Seminars, 1970-1980

Series VII: Professional Activities

Subseries VII.1: American Council for Learned Societies, 1953-1975

Primarily photocopies of minutes, miscellaneous typed reports and photocopies and original correspondence in connection with the ACLS Lecture Series on the History of Religions.

The bulk of this series is correspondence. Most of it relates to lectures which Blau delivered at Harvard, Duke and other universities in 1964 and 1965. The rest relates to a 1971 lecture series which Blau helped to arrange.

Most of the minutes and reports relate to the financial status and publication plans of the ACLC Committee on the History of Religion.

Minutes, correspondence and reports are arranged separately. Minutes and correspondence are arranged chronologically except that correspondence relating to the controversy surrounding the ACLS attempt to publish Thornkild Jacobsen's lectures has been segregated and filed together as the "Jacobsen matter." Other reports are unarranged.

Box 25 American Council for Learned Societies, 1953-1975

Subseries VII.2: American Society for the Study of Religion, 1959-1964

Photocopied minutes of meetings which Blau attended as a member of the Executive Council as well as copies of memoranda notifying scholars of conferences given by the Society, which was founded as an outcome of a 1953 ACLS conference.

Arranged chronologically by year; undated materials are filed after this chronological sequence.

Box 25 American Society for the Study of Religion minutes and memoranda, 1959-1964

Subseries VII.3: Association for Jewish Studies, 1970-1971

Correspondence and copies of correspondence relating to the controversy surrounding a Jewish Studies appointment at Brooklyn College. Blau wrote an interim report on the matter.


Box 25 Association for Jewish Studies correspondence, 1970-1971

Subseries VII.4: Society for Ethical Culture/American Ethical Union, 1941, 1952-1963 1952-1963, 1941, 1952-1963, bulk 1952-1963

Miscellaneous correspondence and typescripts of reports relating to the Society or to the Union, the Society's parent institution. Also includes a few photocopies of minutes of the Advisory Committee on the Institute for Ethical Studies, of which Blau was the first Director, as well as some correspondence relating to the Society's Special Fraternal Commission.

Most of the material falls within the years 1952-1963.

Arranged chronologically; undated materials are filed after this chronological sequence.

Box 25 Society for Ethical Culture/American Ethical Union, 1941, 1952-1963

Subseries VII.5: Conferences/Meetings, 1950-1982

Materials from conferences and meetings in which Blau participated, including a symposium on General Education and a conference on Creationism vs. Darwinism.

Box 26 Conference and meeting materials, 1950-1982

Subseries VII.6: Radio/Film/TV

This series consists of one radio play, one film proposal, and one TV documentary proposal ("Sacred Journeys") for which Blau was a consultant (1980).

Box 26 Radio, Film, and TV

Series VIII: Miscellaneous Materials, 1912-1987

Miscellaneous materials relating to the life and work of Joseph Blau, and his father, Rabbi Joel Blau.

Box 26 Miscellaneous, 1912-1987

Series IX: Publicity, 1938-1986

This series consists of the pages from Blau's scrapbooks containing programs and announcements of his writings and appearances, reviews of his writing, published letters in newspapers, and personal letters of thanks and congratulation from colleagues and friends. It also includes a folder of biographical data. The series serves as a good summary of Blau's professional career and noteriety.

Box 27 Publicity, 1938-1986

Box 28 Publicity, 1938-1986

Box 29 Publicity, 1938-1986

Series X: Printed Materials

Subseries X.1: Journal Articles by Blau

Copies of scholarly journals and reprints of articles written by Blau.

Box 30 Journal articles and reprints by Blau, undated

Box 31 Journal articles and reprints by Blau, undated

Box 32 Journal articles and reprints by Blau, undated

Subseries X.2: Books and Reprints

About 25 books--both popular and scholarly--and a number of reprinted articles by various authors, which have been inscribed by the author or annotated by Blau.

Box 33 Inscribed books and reprinted articles, undated

Box 34 Inscribed books and reprinted articles, undated

Box 35 Inscribed books and reprinted articles, undated

Box 36 Inscribed books and reprinted articles, undated