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Columbia Blue Book Collection, 1895-1953 {Bulk Dates: 1903-1953}

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Columbia Blue Book Collection, 1895-1953 {Bulk Dates: 1903-1953}
Physical description:1.33 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Language(s): Materials entirely in English.


This collection is arranged in one series: Series I. Blue Books, 1895/1896-1953.


Scope and Content

Student handbooks or Columbia Blue Books were small pocket-sized guides to Columbia College on 49th Street and later to the University at Morningside Heights. They contain information and advice about the University and about New York City, usually with a street map attached. The information was reliable for its stated time period, and is a useful guide to student activities and student life during a particular year. Publications for the years 1897-1904, 1938-1939, 1941-1942, 1947-1948, and 1951-1952 are missing or were never published. The Black and Blue Book, published in 1921-1922, is a humorous satire of the handbook. The books have been encased in negative sleeves and boxed.

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

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.

Accrual Information

No additions are expected.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date; Columbia Blue Book Collection; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Marilyn Petit, updated by Allison Chambers. Finding aid written by Linda Arthur (SEAS 2014) in March 2014. Finding aid edited and encoded by Joanna Rios in March 2017.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion March 8, 2017

Finding aid written in English.

    2017-03-08 File created.

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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Columbia College (Columbia University)--Freshmen.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia College (Columbia University).PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--StudentsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note


The student handbook was published for many years by the Christian Association, the campus name for the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and starting in 1923-1924, by the Columbia Spectator. It appears that the last Blue Book was published during the University's bicentennial year, 1953-1954. The handbooks were meant to acclimate students to campus and the surrounding community. Information on student activities and clubs was provided as well as services in the community such as churches and social gatherings. Academic information and descriptions of faculty were also included.