|Columbia University Archives|
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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 2 series.
This collection contains copies of Butler's speeches delivered at Columbia University as well as at numerous other institutions from 1882 to 1947 during his tenure as president of the Industrial Education Association as well as Columbia University. While the speeches address a number of topics, they primarily focus on the state of America's higher educational system, potential educational reforms, and local and international American politics (particularly in relation to the Republican Party and war).
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 offsite. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Nicholas Murray Butler speeches; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Nicholas Murray Butler papers (MS#0177)
No additions are expected.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was initially processed by David Hill in the 1990s and re-processed by Jocelyn Wilk and University Archives student workers in the early 2000s. Finding aid written by Jocelyn Wilk in November 2013.
2019-05-14 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2022-02-11 Access note changed. Collection now stored offsite. (JR)
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Born in 1862, Nicholas Murray Butler received his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Columbia University and also studied in Paris and Berlin. He joined the philosophy faculty as an assistant in 1885 and quickly advanced to adjunct professor. In 1886 he became president of the Industrial Education Association, which he later developed into Teachers College, and in 1890 was appointed professor of philosophy and education, as well as dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. In 1901 he became acting president of Columbia and in 1902 formally gained the title.
Butler served as Columbia's president for 44 years (1902-1945) -- the longest tenure in University history -- and elevated Columbia to the ranks of the world's leading institutions of higher learning and research by expanding the campus, increasing enrollment, creating graduate schools, and spearheading a massive fundraising effort.
Butler also established himself as a prominent figure in early twentieth century America. As an active member of the Republican Party, he was friend to several presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, and sought the presidential nomination in 1920 and 1928. From 1925-1945, he served as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for his dedication to international arbitration and disarmament. In addition to his extensive collection of speeches, Butler authored numerous articles, reports, and books including a two-volume biography.