Columbia University Archives

Nicholas Murray Butler speeches, 1882-1947

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0130
Bib ID 13236481 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Archives
Title Nicholas Murray Butler speeches, 1882-1947
Physical Description 7.51 linear feet (18 document boxes)
Language(s) English , German , French , Yiddish , Spanish; Castilian .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located onsite.



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).

  • Series I: Individual Speeches

    Series I is arranged chronologically by individual speech. Speeches are listed individually by title in the container list and each speech is housed in its own folder.

  • Series 2: Grouped Speeches

    Series II is arranged chronologically by date ranges. Speeches are listed individually by title in the container list but are grouped in each folder according to date range.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located onsite.

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); Nicholas Murray Butler speeches; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Related Materials

Nicholas Murray Butler papers (MS#0177)


No additions are expected.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

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.

Revision Description

2019-05-14 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:"
Addresses Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lectures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Education, Higher -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Universities and colleges Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

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.