Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Barry Ulanov papers, 1932-2003, bulk 1940-1993

Summary Information


This collection contains the papers of Barry Ulanov, a jazz critic and professor of English at Barnard College. The bulk of the papers relates to Ulanov's Barnard years (1950-2000). Most of the material consists of book manuscripts, research files, course materials, and correspondence.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1484
Bib ID 5644162 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Ulanov, Barry
Title Barry Ulanov papers, 1932-2003, bulk 1940-1993
Physical Description 18.5 linear feet (18.5 linear feet 14 record cartons 1 document box 1 flat box)
Language(s) Material is in English, French, Latin, German, Russian and Dutch.

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.

Files containing student grades are restricted.



This collection is arranged in three series: Series I: Subject Files, 1932-2000 Subseries I.1: Subject Files Arranged by Ulanov, 1932-1990s; Subseries I.2: Subject Files, 1940s-20; Series II: Writings, 1955-1993 Subseries II.1: Writings and Translations by Barry Ulanov, 1950s-1990s; Subseries II.2: Writings by others, 1950s-1990s; Series III: Correspondence, 1940s-2000



The collection contains professional and research files, manuscripts, and documents of Barry Ulanov. Subject files include mostly pamphlets, flyers, clippings and copies of newspapers and journals relating to Ulanov's research interests, both for specific book projects as well as more generally. Contained, too, are extensive materials related to Ulanov's Barnard courses, such as syllabi, reading lists, correspondence, and relevant course readings. These subject files are comprised of both those files created by Ulanov, and those created during processing. The papers also include many of Ulanov's original manuscripts and translations, particularly his works on history of religion and Jungian psychology, as well as manuscripts sent to him by colleagues and associates, such as Lionel Trilling. Also included within the collection is Ulanov's correspondence, primarily relating to his speaking and lecturing as part of his professorship at Barnard College. There is also a large amount of correspondence which reflects his extensive work for the Catholic Church, as both a lecturer for Church organizations and as president of the Catholic Renaissance Society.

  • Series I: Subject Files

    This series contains Ulanov's research and personal subject files. The files comprise, primarily, clippings and copies of journals and newspapers, some of which have handwritten marginal notes, underlining, and edits. Also included are Ulanov's personal documents, as well as correspondence and files relating to his family. The Barnard files contain papers, correspondence, letters of recommendation, and memos relating to Ulanov's professorship at that College. Note that several of the Barnard files contain restricted items. As there was no discernable order, these files were arranged alphabetically during processing.

  • Series II: Writings

    The writings contained within the collection are both those of Ulanov and those written by others. Ulanov's writings include transcripts/working notes for speeches and addresses, articles, and book manuscripts from the 1950s to the 1990s. Contracts, publisher correspondence, and other material related to writings have been filed with the appropriate manuscript. The material is arranged alphabetically.

  • Series III: Correspondence

    Contained here is correspondence to and from Barry Ulanov between the 1940s and the 2000s. The correspondence within the collection consists primarily of letters regarding Ulanov's professional activity, particularly as a lecturer and speaker, as well as his work within the Catholic Church. Of particular interest is a handwritten letter to Ulanov from Charles Mingus. The correspondence is arranged chronologically by decade.

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.

Files containing student grades are restricted.

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); Barry Ulanov papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material-- At Columbia

Ann Bedford Ulanov Papers Burke Theological Library, Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship Project

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed 2009 by: J.C. Cloutier (Columbia 2013), Daniella da Silva (Columbia 2013,) Anne Diebel (Columbia 2012), Rob Fucci (Columbia 2013), April Holm (Columbia 2010), Casiana Ionita (Columbia 2013), Darragh Martin (Columbia 2012), Yuki Oda (Columbia 2012), Jude Webre (Columbia 2013), Aaron Winslow (Columbia 2014), Mike Woodsworth (Columbia 2012).

Finding aid written in 2009 by: J.C. Cloutier (Columbia 2013), Daniella da Silva (Columbia 2013,) Anne Diebel (Columbia 2012), Rob Fucci (Columbia 2013), April Holm (Columbia 2010), Casiana Ionita (Columbia 2013), Darragh Martin (Columbia 2012), Yuki Oda (Columbia 2012), Jude Webre (Columbia 2013), Aaron Winslow (Columbia 2014), Mike Woodsworth (Columbia 2012).

Revision Description

2009-08-22 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

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:"
Barnard College Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Bernanos, Georges, 1888-1948 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Catholic Church -- : Psychology Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Catholic Church and philosophy -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Imagination -- Religious aspects -- Christianity Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Literature, Modern -- 20th century -- History and criticism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Poetry -- History and criticism -- Theory, etc Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Psychoanalysis and religion Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theology -- Bibliography Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theology -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theology -- Philosophy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theology -- Study and teaching -- Catholic Church Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theology in literature Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Theology, Doctrinal -- History -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ulanov, Barry Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Barry Ulanov (1918-2000) was a jazz critic, professor of English at Barnard College, and prolific writer. He wrote, edited, or translated nearly fifty books and over a thousand articles on a wide range of subjects. His interests included music, modern art, psychology, history, religion, and literature.

Ulanov was born in Manhattan on April 10, 1918 and attended Columbia University, where he took advantage of his proximity to Harlem to immerse himself in jazz music and culture. After receiving his BA in 1939, Ulanov worked as a jazz writer and edited the journal Metronome from 1943 to 1955. He shifted the focus of the journal to cover more jazz and be-bop music, particularly black musicians who had previously received little notice in the journal. From 1955 to 1958 he wrote for Down Beat and published several biographies of jazz musicians in the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1939, Ulanov married Joan Bel Geddes, who had been a student at Barnard during his years at Columbia. This marriage lasted 29 years and produced three children: Anne, Nicholas, and Katherine. In 1968, Ulanov married Ann Belford, with whom he later had a son, Alexander. Ann Belford Ulanov taught at Union Theological Seminary as Professor of Psychiatry and Religion.

Ulanov's interest in the connection between modern art and contemporary American culture led him to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature at Columbia University, which he completed in 1955. In the meantime, he also became involved in architectural projects in Denver, Colorado and Long Island. He taught English Literature at Princeton University from 1951 to 1953, and then, from 1953 to 1988, at Barnard College. He was an adjunct professor of Religion at Columbia University and, after retiring from Barnard, he taught at Union Theological Seminary in the Department of Psychiatry and Religion. Ulanov lectured worldwide on a range of topics.

Ulanov converted to Catholicism in 1951 and became involved with the Catholic Renaissance Society. He was an active member of the Vatican II Council, where he advocated for the use of vernacular in the mass and amplified music in church. Ulanov lectured at a number of Catholic colleges and spoke at the International Eucharistic Congress with Pope John XXIII in Bombay in 1964. He wrote and edited numerous books and articles on religion and culture.

In his last twenty years, Ulanov wrote extensively on religion and psychology, publishing over ten books with his second wife, Ann Belford Ulanov. Until his death, they co-edited the Journal of Religion and Health. Ulanov died on April 30, 2000, at the age of 82.