Columbia University Archives

John Mladinov Photograph Collection, 1939-1942

Summary Information


Collection of black and white photographs depicting campus activities, individuals, and student life taken by John K. Mladinov, an undergraduate student enrolled at Columbia University between 1939 and 1942.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0204
Bib ID 10998227 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Mladinov, John K. (John Kremlin), 1921-1993
Title John Mladinov Photograph Collection, 1939-1942
Physical Description .83 linear feet (2 document boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



The collection is arranged in 7 series.


Scope and Content

This collection consists of black and white photographs, mostly 8 by 10 inches in size, taken by Columbia College and School of Engineering student John K. Mladinov. Mladinov photographed many different events and individuals, some of which were published in the Columbian and Columbia Alumni News. Notable individuals photographed include President Nicholas Murray Butler, Dean Herbert Hawkes, Dean Nicholas McKnight, Dr. Frank Nobilletti, Chaplain Raymond Knox, and Vincent Lopez, as well as numerous unidentified individuals and groups. Mladinov also photographed events such as the Havermeyer Hall Lab Explosion's aftermath, Columbia Scholastic Press Association conferences, commencement, athletic events, and Army and Navy activities on campus during World War II. Some newspaper clippings are filed with the corresponding photograph, providing background information on the event or individual. Some of the photographs have the people identified and the year noted, but many do not have any identifying information. Undated photographs are assumed to have been taken during Mladinov's time at Columbia between 1939 and 1942.

  • Series I: Academics, 1941-1942

    This series consists of image of students in classroom situations, including students observing a classroom lab experiment and students taking exams.

  • Series II: Administration, 1940s

    This series consists of photographs of Columbia University administrators in both casual and formal settings, including President Nicholas Murray Butler and various deans. Most individuals are identified, while some are unidentified.

  • Series III: Athletics, 1940s

    This series contains images of athletics at Columbia and has the best identifiers of all the photographs in this collection. The most numerous athletic photographs depict football games and football player portraits. The portraits often have biographical information about the player on the back of the images. Newspaper clippings for some of the football games are also included.

  • Series IV: Buildings and Grounds, 1940s

    Series consists of images of buildings on Columbia's campus and campus snow scenes. Of particular note are images of the aftermath the Havermeyer Hall lab explosion in 1941 and an article clipping from Columbia Alumni News covering this event.

  • Series V: Events, 1940s

    This series includes commencement photographs, opening exercise images, the Columbia Band, bandleader Vincent Lopez, and Columbia Scholastic Press Association activities.

  • Series VI: Student Activities and Student Life, 1940s

    This series consists of various images of student activities on campus. Students are photographed smoking, in meetings, and eating meals. The series also includes a group of physical education photographs which are supplemented with a newspaper clipping showing the photographs in published form.

  • Series VII: World War II, 1940s

    This series of photographs depicts military activity at Columbia University during World War II. Images includes Army and Navy groups marching into Baker Field prior to a football game, views of the Navy's Midshipmen and V-12 training programs on campus, training, students selling war bonds, and a Victory Garden being planted.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

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); John Mladinov Photograph Collection; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Material at Columbia

Historical Photograph Collection (UA#0003) Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection (UA# 0109)


No additions are expected

Ownership and Custodial History

Photographs were donated by Margaret Kelly at the School of Engineering in January 2009 who had received the images from Mladinov's widow, Barbara Pratt Mladinov, in 2008.


Margaret R. Kelly Gift, 1/9/2014 2014.2015.M065

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers initially processed by Katie Henningsen in April 2009 and completed by by Ian Post (Pratt SILS intern) in October 2014.

Finding aid written by Ian Post in October 2014 based on notes created by Katie Henningsen.

The photographs found in this collection that were not taken by Mladinov were removed and incorporated into the Historical Photograph Collection. These include images taken by Columbian photographer Jack Lewis and a 1938 prom photograph by an unidentified photographer.

Revision Description

2014-11-04 xml document instance created by Ian Post

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
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
black-and-white photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Classrooms Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
College buildings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
College students Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Alumni and alumnae Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Buildings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Football Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Presidents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Students Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Commencement ceremonies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

John Kremlin Mladinov was born in 1921 in Tacoma, Washington and moved to New York in 1939 where he enrolled in Columbia College. Mladinov attended Columbia College from September 1939 to May 1942 graduating with a Bachelor of Arts on October 26, 1949. He also attended the School of Engineering and Applied Science from June 1942 to August 1943 graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering on June 1, 1949. While a student at Columbia, Mladinov was elected to be a member of the Van Am Society in 1940, the 1848 Society in 1942, the Secretary for the Student Association Administrative Committee (SAAC) in 1942, and was a member of the Senior Advisory Board of the Columbian in 1942. After his time at Columbia, Mladinov served in the Armed Forces during World War II. Following the war he completed a graduate program in transportation and planning at Yale University and then worked for the Washington State Department of Highways where he directed the Puget Sound Regional Transportation Study from 1950-1967. In 1967 he came to work for the New York State Department of Public Works, now known as the State Department of Transportation. Mladinov served as the Executive Deputy Commissioner of the New York Department of Transportation until he retired in 1991. Mladinov was presented the Governor Charles Evans Hughes Award in 1993 for outstanding individual service over an extended career by the American Society for Public Administration, Empire State, Capital Area Chapter. Mladinov died on December 23, 1993 and his wife Barbara Pratt Mladinov, with whom he had two daughters, established the John K. Mladinov Scholarship in 1994, which is awarded to a deserving undergraduate with a minor in liberal arts.