|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
Container ListView All
At a Glance
Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. Cataloged correspondence: 8 boxes; Cataloged manuscripts & documents: 1 box; 1976 gift: Boxes 1-200; 1978 gift: Boxes 201-221; 1979 gift: Boxes 222-227; 1980 gift: Boxes 228-231; 1981 gift: Boxes 232-241; 1983 gift: Boxes 242-265; 1984 gift: Boxes 266-277; 1986-1987 gift: Boxes 278-342; 1988 gift: Boxes 343-354; 1989 gift: Boxes 355-361; 1990 gift: Boxes 362-367; 1991 gift: Boxes 368-373; 1992 gift: Boxes 374-382; 1993 gift: Boxes 383-388; 1994 gift: Boxes 389-394; 1995 gift: Boxes 395-398; 1996 gift: Boxes 399-439; 2000 gift: Boxes 440-441; & oversize folders.
There is no single series of audiovisual materials. For audio reels and cassettes see Boxes 196-197, and Box 439. For Homes Movies, see Boxes 177, 382, and 455.
The professional and personal papers of Jacques Barzun.
There is no single series of audiovisual materials. The collection contains both audio reels and cassettes dating from the 1940s-1990s. For audio, see Boxes 196-197 (listed in Series XXVI) and Box 439 (listed in Series XXII). There is also a set of 8mm home movies made during a trip Europe in 1934. For a itemized list of the home movies, see the container list in Series II: Boxes 177, 382, and 455. The home movies have been digitized.
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.
The Barzun family correspondence is closed.
Permission is required to see the collection. Any scholar requesting access to the collection should submit a letter describing the nature of his or her project to Marguerite Lee Barzun.
The letters of Lionel Trilling are closed except by permission of Jacques Barzun.
11 correspondence file boxes, 2 small cartons& 1 tin box are closed.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Readers must use microfilm of materials specified above.
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); Jacques Barzun papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
There is also a collection of the papers of Barzun's father, Henri Martin Barzun
A bibliography of Barzun's work compiled by John Adams is available for download in Microsoft Excel format. The spreadsheet is current as of January 6, 2017.
Alternate Form Available
W.H. Auden letters are on: microfilm.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Date of acquisition--04/--/1976. Accession number--M-1976.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/19/1990. Accession number--M-90-12-19.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/18/1991. Accession number--M-91-12-18.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/21/1992. Accession number--M-92-12-21.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/20/1993. Accession number--M-93-12-20.
Papers: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/15/1994. Accession number--M-94-12-15.
Papers & books: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/18/1995. Accession number--M-95-12-18.
Correspondence & notes: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1996. Accession number--M-1996.
Correspondence & notes: Source of acquisition--Barzun, Jacques. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--02/08/2000. Accession number--M-00-02-08.
Gift of Jacques Barzun and others, 1976 to date.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Processed HR 05/30/1990.
Papers Processed ME 05/01/1991.
Papers Processed HR 02/28/1992.
Papers Processed HR 01/12/1993.
Papers Processed HR 01/19/1994.
Papers Processed HR 01/23/1995.
Papers & books Processed HR 01/03/1996.
Correspondence & notes Processed HR 04/06/2000.
Correspondence & notes Processed HR 04/06/2000.
Barzun's materials relating to Hector Berlioz form a separate collection. See: Ms Coll/Berlioz
2008-12-02 File created.
2009/01/22 xml document instance created by Patrick Lawlor
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2020-11-28 Additional AV description added. kws
2020-12-09 Additional AV description added by CCR.
History / Biographical Note
Jacques Barzun was born in a suburb of Paris in 1907 and died in San Antonio, Texas in 2012.
The son of Henri Martin Barzun, a writer and diplomat, and Anna-Rose Barzun, Barzun grew up in the a family milieu which he described as "nursery of living culture". He met many artists and writers of the modernist era, including Marcel Duchamp, Ezra Pound and Jean Cocteau.
As an undergraduate, Barzun was the Columbia University Spectator's drama critic and editor of Varsity, the literary magazine. He way also president of the Philolexian Society and class valedictorian.
He taught his first class at Columbia, Contemporary Civilization, after graduating from the college. He later served as a history professor and was well known for his humanities courses, teaching for almost 50 years.
In the 1930s, Barzun taught the first Colloquium on Important Books class, the precursor to Literature Humanities, with Lionel Trilling, and developed the Core Curriculum's humanities focus.
Barzun served as dean of graduate faculties in the 1950s and then provost from 1958 to 1967. Barzun obtained the rank of University Professor, the highest rank in the University, in 1967.
Barzun was an outspoken critic of American universities and objected to the politicization of the academy. He strongly condemned both student protesters and faculty during the 1968 student riots.
Barzun wrote ober 30 books. Among the notable titles are Teacher in America (1945) and From dawn to decadence : 500 years of cultural triumph and defeat, 1500 to the present (2000).
After retiring from the University in 1975, he remained an advocate for Columbia and the Core Curriculum.
A devoted Dodgers fan who knew the team when it still played at Ebbets Field, Barzun once remarked, 'Whoever wants to know the heart and soul of America had better learn baseball.' That quote is now inscribed on the walls of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
He was awarded the Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, and was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France's highest award. He became a U.S. citizen in 1933.
In October 2007, a month before his 100th birthday, Barzun was presented with the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. At the event, Professor Emeritus of History Henry Graff called Barzun 'the Babe Ruth of humanistic study and teaching.'