Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

John Jay Iselin papers, 1983-1995

Summary Information

Abstract

Papers of John Jay Iselin, journalist, editor, professor of journalism, and president of both WNET/Channel 13 and the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1587
Bib ID 9006537 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Iselin, John Jay
Title John Jay Iselin papers, 1983-1995
Physical Description 8 linear feet (8 record storage cartons)
Language(s) English .
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.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in 2 series.

Description

Summary

The records, which primarily cover the period in which Iselin served as the President of the Cooper Union, contain topical files and correspondence related to his professional activities.

  • Series I: General Files, November, 1984-November, 1993

    The General Files contain information relating to Iselin's presidency of the Cooper Union, including files on his fundraising efforts on behalf of the institution and research files related to the history of the Cooper Union, as well as files related to capital projects at the Cooper Union and a Charles and Ray Eames film festival hosted by the college.

  • Series II: Reading Files (Correspondence), 1988-1995

    Iselin's Correspondence Files, which he calls reading files, span his years at Cooper Union years and relate his work as the president of that institution.

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.

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); John Jay Iselin Papers; Box and Folder (if known); Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accrual

No additional material expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Gillian Rhodes (Columbia College, 2012) 10/--/2011.

Finding aid written Carrie Hintz 10/13/2011.

Revision Description

2011-10-18 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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
College presidents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Iselin, John Jay Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

John Jay Iselin, descendent of the Supreme Court Justice John Jay, was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1933. He left South Carolina to pursue his education at Harvard, where he received both his Bachelor's Degree. He received the prestigious Marshall Scholarship which funded his course of study at Cambridge, where he received his Master's Degree before returning to Harvard to pursue his PhD in government, which he received in 1964.

After graduation he worked as a journalist for publications including Newsweek before shifting his focus onto the production side of writing as an editor with Harper & Row in 1970. He only held his editorial position at Harper & Row for two years; in 1972 he took the helm of New York's public television station, WNET/Channel 13 and remained president of the station for 16 years. Under his leadership, WNET produced shows such as Great Performances, Nature and Newshour as well as a number of documentaries and miniseries.

Iselin left the station in 1988 when he was appointed the tenth president of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. His presidency there was marked with great growth in the Cooper Union endowment and in particular a huge capital campaign that helped build and update the institutions facilities and lab spaces. He also oversaw the creation of new endowed professorships. After twelve years at the Cooper Union, Iselin left the university to take on the presidency of the Marconi International Fellowship Foundation at Columbia University which promotes work and scholarship in the field of telecommunications, merging his own background in both the academy and in broadcasting.

John Jay Iselin died in 2008 at the age of 74.