Columbia University Archives

Margaret B. Pickel Papers, 1943-1954

Summary Information


This collection consists of the papers of Margaret B. Pickel as Dean of University Women at Columbia University.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0301
Bib ID 13212567 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Pickel, Margaret Barnard, 1897-1955
Title Margaret B. Pickel Papers, 1943-1954
Physical Description 0.42 linear feet (1 document box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged into one series.



This collection consists of the office papers of Margaret B. Pickel as the Dean of University Women at Columbia University (1945-1955). The majority of the files relate to the refurbishing of 301 Philosophy before the bicentennial celebration of 1954. The space served as both Dean Pickel's office and the only women's lounge on 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); Margaret B. Pickel papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material at Columbia

Central Files, 1890-1984 [Bulk Dates: 1890-1983] (UA#0001)

Historical Biographical Files [18--?] – 2012 (UA#0004)


No additions are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Joanna Rios. Finding aid written by Joanna Rios in April 2018.

Revision Description

2018-04-06 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:"
Columbia University -- Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Graduate students Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pickel, Margaret Barnard, 1897-1955 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women college administrators Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women college graduates Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women in education -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Born in Sweetsburg, Canada in 1897, Margaret Barnard Pickel received a BA degree in 1919 and MA in 1923 from McGill University. Soon after, she arrived at Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in English in 1936. Upon graduation, Pickel continued to teach courses and was appointed Advisor to women graduate students in 1940. From 1940-41 she also served as the Head of Johnson Hall, the residence hall for graduate women students, until the building was taken over by the Navy for the USNR midshipmen from 1941 to 1945. In 1942 she established the War Work Information Bureau for Women College Students to find women paying (not volunteer) work in government departments and in industry. The Bureau also provided information about professional and specialized training courses. In 1945, Pickel was named by President Nicholas Murray Butler the first Dean of University Women and again Head of Johnson Hall. She was in charge of over 5,000 women students, 4,000 of whom were enrolled in the professional schools (Law, Journalism, Architecture, Engineering, etc.). A member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Pickel raised funds for scholarships aimed at bringing teachers from abroad to receive training in the US. In 1954-1955, the AAUW renamed the international fellowship as the Margaret B. Pickel grant. Pickel was a voice for and about educated women and a frequent contributor to the New York Times magazine on issues of women, service and employment prospects during and after the war. She died unexpectedly in the summer of 1955.