|Columbia University Archives|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged into one series.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of four photo albums. Each album is leather bound, with the event name, year and member's name printed in gold letters on the cover. The photographs were taken by Gabriel Moulin, 153 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA. There are photographs of the site: the entrance, the grove, the paths, the redwoods and the Russian River. There are also photos of the different named campsites: Land of Happiness (Butler's camp), Mandalay, Woof and Lost Angels. They also include the different performances at the Grove Theatre, including the High and the Low Jinks, as well the rehearsal and the ceremony of the Cremation of Care at the Owl altar. There are group photographs of the banquet (with seating for up to 800 guests), the Circle campfires at night, and orchestra concerts. Among those featured in the photographs are Butler and his Land of Happiness fellow campers: Carl F. Ahlstrom, William H. Crocker, Jerome Landfield, Henry S. Pritchett and camp founder Joseph Redding.
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 onsite.
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 Moulin Studios and the photographs cannot be copied, reproduced or distributed without express permission from Moulin Studios. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Nicholas Murray Butler Bohemian Grove Photo Albums; Box 1; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Selected Related Material at Columbia
Nicholas Murray Butler Papers [ca. 1891-1947]
No additions are expected
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Jennifer Ulrich. Finding aid written by Joanna Rios and Jocelyn Wilk in May 2017.
2017-05-26 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The Bohemian Club, a private club based in San Francisco founded in 1872, began as a regular meeting of journalists, artists and musicians, but soon began to accept businessmen and entrepreneurs as permanent members, as well as offering temporary membership to university presidents and military commanders who were serving in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1916, Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler was elected by the Bohemian Club directors as an "honorary member" the highest category of membership, reserved for a handful of prominent or distinguished men. Honorary members do not complete an application nor rely on sponsors to gain membership; they are invited and they do not pay membership fee or annual dues. As a member, Butler could (and did) attend the Club's annual event, Bohemian Grove. This was a two-week summer retreat, held on private, Club-owned property, north of San Francisco, in a redwood grove on the south side of the Russian River, or as Herbert Hoover described it"the greatest men's party on Earth." Those in attendance ranged from the more "Bohemian" artists, musicians and playwrights, to the influential, wealthy captains of industry, from private enterprise to government. (Other Columbia University presidents who were also members include Dwight Eisenhower and Grayson Kirk.) Members stayed at different campsites on the property and enjoyed outdoor living. The event was meant to be an escape from every day cares and concerns (the camp's motto, taken from A Midsummer's Night Dream, is "Weaving spiders come not here"). The members visited each other's' campsites, enjoyed impromptu performances and games, and they came together for rituals (the Cremation of Care), banquets and performances (the one-night-only performance of the original musical play known as the High Jinks and other musical comedies known as the Low Jinks).