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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in four series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Subject Files; Series III: Psychology; Series IV: University of California at San Diego.
Correspondence, memoranda, notes, speeches, scientific data, photographs and printed material. Half of the collection relates to McGill's research and writing in the fields of experimental and mathematical psychology, particularly in the psychology of perception, and contains drafts of papers, notes, class materials and works by others. Also included are files relating to McGill's chairmanship of the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broadcasting, files pertaining to his participation on the New York State Special Advisory Panel on Medical Malpractice, and some papers from his chairmanship of the psychology department, and later chancellorship, of the University of California, San Diego. Some personal correspondence and documents are also included. Among the cataloged correspondence are John W. Gardiner, Edward M. Kennedy, Margaret Mead, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Jonas Salk, and Beverly Sills
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
The following boxes are located offsite: 2-56. 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 was restricted during the donor's lifetime.
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); William J. McGill papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
For additional materials related to McGill's tenure as University President, please consult Central Files (UA#0001). Additional speeches and remarks can be found in the William J. McGill speeches, 1971-1980 (UA#0309).
Ownership and Custodial History
Gift of William J. McGill, 1980.
Transfer from the President's Office, 1984.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Entered in AMC 10/08/90.
2020-06-29 PDF replaced with full finding aid (JR)
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
William J. McGill received an AB and MA from Fordham and the Ph.D. from Harvard. After serving as an assistant professor at MIT, McGill joined Columbia's Department of Psychology in 1956, became associate professor in 1958 and full professor two years later, serving as chairman of the psychology department from 1961 to 1963. He left Columbia for five years to become a professor and chancellor at UC San Diego and returned to Columbia as president in 1970. His administration was marked by recovery from a state of ﬁscal instability, growth in fund raising, construction of several major facilities, curricular innovations and establishment of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities. In 1980, McGill retired to La Jolla, California following his tenure as president.