Columbia University Archives

Nicholas Murray Butler football correspondence, 1905-1907

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0305
Bib ID 13791984 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Archives
Title Nicholas Murray Butler football correspondence, 1905-1907
Physical Description 0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-size document box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located onsite.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in one series.



This collection contains correspondence received by Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler regarding the banning of football at Columbia in 1905.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

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 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 football correspondence; Box and Folder (if known); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.


No additions are expected.

Provenance and Acquisition

Although presidential correspondence is normally kept in Central Files (or Office of the President Records), Frank D. Fackenthal, then University Secretary, recognizing their historical value, pulled this set of letters from the main collection and transferred them to the Columbiana Collection in 1920. The letters were transferred from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library to the University Archives in 1997.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Marilyn H. Pettit in September 2002. Finding aid written by Joanna Rios in April 2019.

Revision Description

2019-05-04 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2020-02-06 One oversized item moved from original box to Flat Files Box 18

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:"
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Football Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Football Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

According to University President Nicholas Murray Butler, football had "become an academic nuisance because of its interference with academic work and an academic danger because of the moral and physical ills that follow in its train." Without proper rules in place, the game was considered "brutal and abominable." On November 1905, the University Committee on Student Organizations voted to ban intercollegiate football at Columbia. Other colleges and universities similarly discontinued the sport following a season of repeated injuries and deaths. Henry Mitchell McCracken of New York University called a meeting in December 1905 to initiate changes in the rules for playing football. This meeting resulted in the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1906, which became the NCAA in 1910. After a 10-year ban, Columbia rejoined intercollegiate football in 1915.