Rare Book & Manuscript Library

William S. Vickrey papers, 1939-1996

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS# 1293
Bib ID 5455879 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Vickrey, William S (William Spencer), 1914-
Title William S. Vickrey papers, 1939-1996
Physical Description 23.5 linear feet (47 boxes)
Language(s) English , German , Spanish; Castilian .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged into 7 series.



The collection is comprised of correspondence, manuscripts, teaching materials, conference materials, subject files, and printed items from William S. Vickrey's career as an economist. It contains published and unpublished papers illustrating his thoughts on various aspects of economic theory and their practical application. Topics discussed in these manuscripts involve macroeconomics, marginal cost pricing, microeconomics, political economy and welfare, public finance, social choice, taxation, transportation, urban economics, and related matters. The collection also has records from his tenure at Columbia University, including correspondence with his academic colleagues and participation in professional activities.

  • Series I: Cataloged Correspondence

    Correspondence sent to William S. Vickrey from senators, congressmen, and other economists. Includes letters from Carl Shoup to Vickrey and his colleagues at Columbia University. Arranged alphabetically by last name of sender.

  • Series II: Arranged Correspondence

    Correspondence to and from William S. Vickrey related to his career in economics. These letters include debates on economic theory, discussion of transportation issues, requests for references, proposals for grant projects, and reviews of other economists' papers. The series also has letters about symposiums, involvement with professional organizations, visits by other scholars, Quaker activities, publications, and comments by colleagues on his work. In addition, there is personal correspondence with his wife Cecile, mother, and friends. Arranged alphabetically by last name of sender.

  • Series III: Manuscripts

    Typescripts, mimeograph masters, drafts, outlines, notes, and fragments of William S. Vickrey's papers, articles, reviews, and other economic documents. Various aspects of economic theory and application are discussed including macroeconomics, marginal cost pricing, microeconomics, social choice, taxation, transportation, urban economics, and related matters. Arranged alphabetically by subject designated by economic graduate students who previously inventoried Vickrey's papers or assigned by the author in his annotated bibliography. Many of the notes were also provided by Vickrey or the graduate students.

  • Series IV: Columbia University

    Correspondence with administrators, fellow professors, students, visitors, librarians, and others involved in university activities. Also includes exams, papers, course syllabi, reading lists, seminar presentations, and other teaching materials used by Vickrey during his career. Arranged alphabetically by topic.

  • Series V: Conference Materials

    Programs, schedules, correspondence, publicity, discussion transcripts, and related materials about the participants, travel arrangements, topics to be debated, chairmanship duties, and comments on proposed presentations. Includes correspondence and other papers about the American Economic Association (AEA) 1991 Annual Meeting organized by Vickrey. The meeting files detail the proposed sessions, papers submitted for presentation, organization of joint programs, and further planning information. Arranged alphabetically by conference title.

  • Series VI: Subject Files

    Correspondence, notes, bibliographies, papers, lists, press clippings, and other documents reflecting Vickrey's research interests and efforts to have his work published. Also includes correspondence, notes, financial records, travel arrangements, and other information about his consulting projects, often overseas. Arranged alphabetically by topic.

  • Series VII: Printed Material

    Reprints of papers written by Vickrey and his colleagues, issues of journals, and related economic ephemera. Arranged alphabetically by title.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

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); William S. Vickrey papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Bridget T. Lerette.

Revision Description

2010-04-02 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

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:"
Periodicals Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Economic Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Anti-inflationary policies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bonbright, James C (James Cummings), 1891-1985 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Budget Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
City traffic Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Committee on Taxation, Resources and Economic Development Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cordier, Andrew W (Andrew Wellington), 1901-1975 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Debts, Public Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Deficit financing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economic policy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economics -- Methodology Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Employment (Economic theory) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Energy policy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Finance Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Finance, Public Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Full employment policies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Income tax -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Inflation (Finance) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Koch, Ed, 1924-2013 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Land use Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Local transit Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Local transit -- Fares Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Local transit -- New York (State) -- New York -- Finance Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Macroeconomics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
McGill, William J Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Melman, Seymour Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Microeconomics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moynihan, Daniel P (Daniel Patrick), 1927-2003 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-1996 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
New York (N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poitier, Sidney Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Postal service Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Price regulation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Progressive taxation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Public utilities Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Resource allocation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Shoup, Carl S (Carl Sumner), 1902-2000 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Social choice Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Statics and dynamics (Social sciences) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Subways Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Taxation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Thurmond, Strom, 1902-2003 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tolls Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Transit, International Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Transportation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States -- Economic conditions Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Urban economics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Urban transportation Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Welfare economics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

William S. Vickrey was born in 1914 in Victoria, British Columbia. After earning a B.S. in mathematics from Yale University in 1935, he went on to Columbia University where he earned an M.A. (1937) and Ph.D. (1947) in Economics. During World War II, Vickrey served as an economist in the Tax Research Division of the U.S. Treasury Department. In 1946, Vickrey began his teaching career at Columbia, eventually becoming the McVickar Professor of Political Economy in 1971. His research career was prolific with over 100 books and articles published on a broad range of matters and he worked as a consultant on projects in the U.S. and abroad. Vickrey lectured extensively, participated in numerous professional organizations, supported efforts for world peace, and served as president of the American Economic Association in 1992. Shortly before his death on October 11, 1996, Vickrey was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences "for his fundamental contributions to the economic theory of incentives under asymmetric information.".