Columbia University Archives

Elizabeth Blake Papers, 1940-2010, bulk 1940-1976

Summary Information


A collection of personal papers of Elizabeth (Betty) Blake, who was very active in both the Columbia and broader Manhattan communities, consisting primarily of correspondence, meeting agendas, minutes, and Columbia University memorabilia.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0198
Bib ID 10721276 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Blake, Elizabeth
Title Elizabeth Blake Papers, 1940-2010, bulk 1940-1976
Physical Description 1.50 linear feet (3 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



Although this small collection is arranged in just one series it naturally divides into several distinct categories of materials. Files of materials relate to Blake's activities at Columbia University, the Women's Faculty Club, and her involvement with the Manhattanville Community Center. Files are arranged roughly alphabetically along these topics. Background biographical information provided with the donation is filed at the start of the collection and miscellaneous correspondence and items are found in the last box.



The bulk of the collection consists of the correspondence of Elizabeth (Betty) Blake as well as records of the groups (e.g., meeting minutes, membership lists, event invitations, and financial records) with which she was involved. These include the Women's Faculty Club, Phi Delta Gamma, and the Manhattanville Community Centers. There are also miscellaneous newspaper clippings and two sheets of Columbia University commemorative postage stamps as well as a few small booklets about Columbia University, its 1954 Bicentennial celebrations, and lectures given at the University.

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); Elizabeth Blake Papers; Box and Folder (if known); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

Historical Subject Files, 1870s-2012. [Bulk Dates: 1968-1972], UA#0002

Morningside Area Alliance records, 1947-1992, UA#0076

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed, Linda Arthur (SEAS 2014), under the direction of Jocelyn Wilk 01/2014.

Finding Aid written by Linda Arthur, January 2014.

Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD by PTL 2014.

Revision Description

2014-03-25 File created.

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:"
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Commemorative postage stamps Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Printed Ephemera Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Blake, Elizabeth Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chemical engineering Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Anniversaries, etc. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Centennial celebrations, etc. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Bicentennial Committee Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Women's Faculty Club Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eisenhower, Dwight D (Dwight David), 1890-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eisenhower, Mamie Doud, 1896-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Finch, James Kip, 1883-1967 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gellhorn, Walter, 1906-1995 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manhattanville (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Phi delta gamma. Zeta chapter (Columbia University) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Blake was raised in early 1900s New England. She enjoyed a comfortable childhood in New York until her father's death in 1906, at which time the family relocated to New Hampshire for a short while, finally settling in Jamaica Plain in Massachusetts where Elizabeth, better known as Betty, finished her schooling. After finishing high school Betty dreamed of college, but due to poor health enrolled instead at the Knox School, a finishing school in New York. It was there that she discovered her passion for the arts. She continued on to study with the Art Students' League and several private tutors, finally settling down in a small cabin back in Silver Beach.

In the spring of 1925 Betty Stanton chanced to meet one William Harold Blake, when a high school English teacher who had taught them both (ten years apart) invited the pair to see her off on a trip to England. The couple found they had much in common with their family histories though they were rather opposite in temperament. None the less, Betty and Billy Blake were married on March 26, 1927. Once married, Betty felt obligated to forgo directing portrait classes and her professional portrait painting, but Billy's position as Head of the English Department for the Horace Mann School for Boys gave her ample opportunities to be involved in organizations at Columbia University, as well as in their surrounding community. Betty was a member of many organizations including the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors, the National Association of Women Artists, the Columbia University Women's Faculty Club, and the Columbia Committee for Community Service.

In 1929 Betty became pregnant with the couple's only child Elizabeth Stanton Blake, better known as Bettina. Through the Depression era Betty and Billy continued to be very active on campus while raising Bettina. At Columbia, Betty was dedicated to the Women's Faculty Club, war relief efforts, art on campus, the Columbia University Committee for Community Service, and with many other campus groups and activities. In the broader community she helped with outreach to less fortunate children by her active participation with the Mannhattanville Community Centers which gave these children a safe place outside of school, and enriched their studies. Even after Billy's retirement in 1952 and his death in 1965 Betty remained very involved on campus and in the community until the mid-1970s when her age made volunteering too difficult. Elizabeth Blake died in 1981.