Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

The American Assembly records, 1950-2007

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0312
Bib ID 14243034 View CLIO record
Creator(s) American Assembly
Title The American Assembly records, 1950-2007
Physical Description 77.5 Linear Feet (62 record cartons)
Language(s) Materials are in English.
Access

This collection is located onsite.

All administrative records of the University are restricted for 25 years from the date of creation.

The RBML cannot provide access to original time-based media material which has not been first been reformatted for preservation. Researchers are welcome to examine archival time-based media items and decide whether they wish to place an order for Audio/Video reformatting. If copyright and/or condition restrictions apply, it may not be possible to digitize a requested item. Please note that A/V reformatting is handled by an outside vendor and typically takes 6-8 weeks.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in four series: Series I. Administrative records, 1950-1974; Series II. Assembly meeting records, 1951-2006; Series III. Publications, 1951-2007; Series IV. Participant records, 1950s-2000s.

Description

Scope and Contents

This collections contants the administrative papers from 1950 to 1970s, which document the establishment of the Assembly and how it operated in the framework of Columbia University and its Business School. It also includes the volumes created for each Assembly topic and meeting year. The volumes contain both original manuscript material (e.g., correspondence, memos, reports, photographs, programs, etc.) related to the planning and execution of each meeting as well as published reports and publications generated for the meeting. Topics addressed by the Assembly over the years include: US Foreign Policy, Outer Space, Nuclear/Atom Power, International Relations, Collapse of the USSR, Arms Control, US Economy, Domestic policy issues (health insurance, labor, black economic development), Religion and American Life, Social Issues, Arts and Public Policy, Environmental issues, Politics, Tax System, Financial Systems, World Migration and US Policy. The collection also includes The Assembly's publications and a participant index.

  • Series I. Administrative records

    Selective documentation of the first years of the American Assembly. Most of the correspondence, notes and minutes of the early days of The Assembly can be found in Central Files (or Office of President records). These records include those of the first director, Phillip Young, and subsequent director, Courtney C. Brown, who were both Deans of the Graduate School of Business. The materials (reports, publications, correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, articles, etc.) were gathered and bound into six volumes by Clifford C. Willson, Executive Vice President, in 1960, and two more volumes as a continuation of the series were added in 1967 and 1974. This series also includes the records of the President's Commission on National Goals (1960).

  • Series II. Assembly meeting records

    The Assembly meeting records - national and regional conferences - are available as bound volumes. These "editorial and other papers" volumes contain information about the opening ceremonies, speeches, press statements, photographs, round table digests, final report and final printed documents. There are also the first booklets or brochures relating to Arden House and the American Assembly. The papers include editorial, public relations, advance preparation, and the actual conduct of the Assembly. They are not complete and they were originally compiled to give later officers of the American Assembly an idea of how the Assemblies were planned and administered. Volumes are organized by Assembly number and then chronologically. Background papers prepared for the Assemblies and the Final Reports can be found either as part of the volume or as a separate bound volume. For final reports and revisions, see Series III. Publications.

  • Series III. Publications

    This series contains some of the reports published by the American Assembly. This collection is not complete, it includes some revised editions and contains only those publications in English.

  • Series IV. Participant records

    An index card collection with participants' contact information and Assembly attendance. These cards serve an alphabetical directory of the Assembly participants over the years.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is located onsite.

All administrative records of the University are restricted for 25 years from the date of creation.

The RBML cannot provide access to original time-based media material which has not been first been reformatted for preservation. Researchers are welcome to examine archival time-based media items and decide whether they wish to place an order for Audio/Video reformatting. If copyright and/or condition restrictions apply, it may not be possible to digitize a requested item. Please note that A/V reformatting is handled by an outside vendor and typically takes 6-8 weeks.

Conditions Governing Use

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); The American Assembly records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.

Related Materials

Additional materials can be found in Central Files (UA#0001), Historical Subject Files (UA#0002) and the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs records (UA#0083). There are also photographs in the Historical Photograph Collection (UA#0003) and in the Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection (UA#0109).

Accruals

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 and Jessica Liston (CC 2020). Finding aid written by Joanna Rios in October 2019.

Revision Description

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.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Accounting Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Arden House (Harriman, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Graduate School of Business Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Democracy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Economic development Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Education, Higher Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eisenhower, Dwight D (Dwight David), 1890-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Energy policy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Performing arts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Population Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Social policy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Urban economics Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The American Assembly is a public policy institute founded in 1950 by Dwight D. Eisenhower, when he served as the thirteenth president of Columbia University from May 1948 until January 1953. For over sixty years, The Assembly has fostered non-partisan, public-policy discussions through convenings, research, and issuing authoritative books and reports. Over 100 'American Assemblies' have been held on topics ranging from prison reform to health care and to nuclear disarmament. In recent years, The Assembly's projects have made significant interventions in and contributions to economic, urban, and cultural policy, as well as other topics representing a broad spectrum of views and interests—such as workforce development, financial regulation, and the role of the arts in US universities.