Columbia University Archives

Will Csaplar Postcard Collection, 1900-1950s, bulk 1910-1925

Summary Information


This collection consists of postcards from the early twentieth century depicting Columbia University buildings, sites, and related imagery. These postcards were collected over the years by Columbia alum Will Csaplar (AB 1957, AM 1958).

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0231
Bib ID 12719759 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Csaplar, Wilfrid W
Title Will Csaplar Postcard Collection, 1900-1950s, bulk 1910-1925
Physical Description 1.04 linear feet (2 index card boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in four series.


Scope and Content

This collection contains postcards that feature imagery relating to Columbia University. These postcards date mostly from 1900 to 1950, although many date closer to the period of 1910 to 1925. Some postcards contain messages and stamps, but many are blank. There are a large number of postcards depicting Low Library and aerial views of the Morningside Campus, as well as a fair number depicting various sites on Barnard's campus and Teachers College. These postcards contain a mixture of photographed and illustrated images, with both black and white and color images.

  • Series I: Morningside Campus

    This series contains postcards with photographs and illustrations of buildings and locations on Columbia's Morningside Campus. It is organized alphabetically by building or campus feature name.

  • Series II. Associated Buildings and Campuses

    This series contains postcards consisting of photographs and illustrations of Columbia affiliated schools with campuses separate from Columbia's Morningside Campus as well as some other Columbia owned property. It also contains images of buildings and locations associated with Columbia University and its neighborhood but which are not located on the Morningside Campus. Subjects include Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Pharmacy, the King's College building located in the Wall Street area of NYC, Grant's Tomb, Columbia Yacht Club (boat house), Arden House, and the King's Crown Hotel.

  • Series III: Columbia Postcard Sets

    This series contains postcards that were published by individual postcard companies as part of a larger set of Columbia themed postcards. Postcard companies, including Habermas, A.M. Simon, Manhattan Post Card Publishing Company, Columbia University Press Book Store, and J.W.G. These sets feature images of Columbia's Morningside Campus and surrounding Columbia institutions. They are not necessarily complete sets, but feature unified design styles in their photographs and illustrations.

  • Series IV: Special or Unusual Postcards

    This series contains postcards that contain unusual design features or unique imagery. Some unusual design features include images raised slightly in relief, postcards to be held to the light, non-paper materials (leather, fabric), and irregular sizes. Postcards with unique imagery include F. Earl Christy's university boy and girl illustrations, Columbia pennants and seals, and historical images of the Morningside Campus.

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); Will Csaplar Postcard Collection; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

Historical Photograph Collection (UA#0004)

Historical Photograph Collection, 1855-2012 (UA#0003)


No additions are expected

Ownership and Custodial History

This collection was donated to Columbia University Archives by Will Csaplar CC 1956 in 2016.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Emily Burns, CC 2017. Finding aid written by Emily Burns in April 2017.

Postcards processed Emily Burns, CC 2017 April 2017.

Revision Description

2017-07-11 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:"
Photographic postcards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Picture postcards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Postcards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
College buildings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Buildings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Low Memorial Library Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
McKim, Mead & White Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Wilfrid (Will) W. Csaplar graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1957 and from the Graduate Business School with a Master's Degree in 1958. While an undergraduate at Columbia, Csaplar competed on the Varsity track and basketball teams and was a member of the Spiked Shoe Society and the University Christian Society. He also belonged to the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.