|Columbia University Archives|
Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
Container ListView All
Series I: Rosters and Statistics, 1911-2006
Series II: Publicity, 1929-2014
Series V: Administrative Files, 1890-2015
At a Glance
This collection in arranged in 8 series.
This collection consists of the official records of the Columbia intercollegiate athletic teams as well as the administrative records, minutes, press releases, media guides, programs, photographs, and scrapbooks from the Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Department. It includes the records of former Director John A. Reeves.
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.
All administrative records of the University are restricted for 25 years from the date of creation.
The following boxes are located offsite: 1-52. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least two business in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
Gloves must be worn while handling photographic prints and negatives in the collection. All audiovisual materials must be digitized before use.
The RBML cannot provide access to original time-based media material which has not been first been reformatted for preservation. Researchers are welcome to examine archival time-based media items and decide whether they wish to place an order for Audio/Video reformatting. If copyright and/or condition restrictions apply, it may not be possible to digitize a requested item. Please note that A/V reformatting is handled by an outside vendor and typically takes 6-8 weeks.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
For materials related to the early days of athletics, please consult the Columbia University Committee on Student Organizations records (UA#0011), Nicholas Murray Butler football correspondence (UA#0305) and the Lou Little Papers (MS#0791)
For photographs of the sports teams, games, coaches, student athletes and managers from the 1930s to the 1960s, please consult the Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education negatives (UA#0319).
Materials about individual sports and the physical education curriculum can be found in the Historical Subject Files (UA#0002). For photographs, please consult the Historical Photograph Collection (UA#0003), John Mladinov Photograph Collection (UA#0204) and the Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection (UA#0109).
Additions are expected.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2015.2016.M022: Source of acquisition--Alex Oberweger, Department of Athletics. Method of acquisition--Transfer; Date of acquisition--6/25/2015.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
2020-02-06 Added materials in Box 9. The materials were donated to the Columbiana Collection by Gustavus T. Kirby (EE 1895, LLB 1898), who served as manager of the Columbia University Athletic Association.
2021-01-11 Removed expired restrictions (JR)
2022-01-07 Removed expired restrictions (JR)
History / Biographical Note
In 1867, the Trustees gave a student-led baseball team a $200 grant to purchase equipment and with that, Columbia went on to defeat NYU and City Colloege, but lose to Yale and Princeton, in its first season of intercollegiate athletics. In 1870, Columbia played its first football game, only the fourth intercollegiate contest in the history of the sport, on November 12, 1870. Columbia lost to Rutgers by a score of 6-3. In 1873 in its first outing, Columbia crew placed fourth in a field of thirteen, but, the very following year, they won the first regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. Track fielded its first team in 1876. Early sporting events such as these were both student-run and student- and alumni-financed. There were numerous alumni-controlled organizations in charge (e.g, Columbia College Athletic Union (CCAU) and later the Columbia University Athletic Association (CUAA), and some for separate sports (e.g. Columbia University Football Association).
In 1901, the University Council passed a resolution to appoint a University Committee of Student Organizations to supervise and control all student organizations, athletic and other. And so, the faculty were put in control of athletics at Columbia, but alumni remained involved. Each team had a graduate manager. It was in this period, that the Columbia Lion was adopted as a sports symbol (1910).
In 1931, the University Trustees took control over intercollegiate athletics when the Athletic Association's debt exceeded $200,000. The Trustees argued that athletics should be considered a student activity, conducted by the University for the benefit of students. The takeover also coincided with the glory days of Lou Little's football teams. Between 1931 and 1934, Columbia won 30 games, tied 2 and lost 4, and won the 1934 Rose Bowl.
Ralph J. Furey, who had been appointed Director of Athletics in 1943, was the first to be appointed Director of Physical Education and Athletics in 1946. Centralizing control under one department allowed administrators to enhance the educational value of the physical education curriculum. This joint arrangement has been in place since.
Ralph J. Furey (1946-1968); Kenneth G. Germann (1967-1973); Alvin Paul (1974-1991); John A. Reeves (1991-2004); Dianne Murphy (2004-2015); Peter E. Pilling (2015-present).