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Series II: Sports Teams, 1932-1963
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in two series.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the negatives, on glass and on film, of the sports teams, student athletes and coaches at Columbia University from the 1930s to the 1960s. In addition, there are photos of campus events (e.g., rallies, commencement), playing fields (e.g., Baker Field, Camp Columbia) and other friends of the Athletics program (e.g., Athletics Association (AA), Varsity "C" Club). It also includes other sports-related groups such as the Band and the cheerleaders. Many of the photographs were taken by University Photographer Manny Warman.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing 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 onsite.
This collection has no restrictions. However, gloves must be worn while handling the photographic negatives in the collection.
Conditions Governing Use
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); Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education negatives, Box number; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
This collection was originally part of the Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education records, 1890-2015 (UA#0211). All of the negatives found in filing cabinets have been collected here. The photographic prints are included in the records collection.
No additions are expected.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Jay Castro (CC 2020) in 2019. Finding aid was written by Joanna Rios in February 2020.
History / Biographical Note
In 1867, the Trustees gave a student-led baseball team a $200 grant to purchase equipment and with that, Columbia went on to defeat NYU and City Colloege, but lose to Yale and Princeton, in its first season of intercollegiate athletics. In 1870, Columbia played its first football game, only the fourth intercollegiate contest in the history of the sport, on November 12, 1870. Columbia lost to Rutgers by a score of 6-3. In 1873 in its first outing, Columbia crew placed fourth in a field of thirteen, but, the very following year, they won the first regatta of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. Track fielded its first team in 1876. Early sporting events such as these were both student-run and student- and alumni-financed. There were numerous alumni-controlled organizations in charge (e.g, Columbia College Athletic Union (CCAU) and later the Columbia University Athletic Association (CUAA), and some for separate sports (e.g. Columbia University Football Association).
In 1901, the University Council passed a resolution to appoint a University Committee of Student Organizations to supervise and control all student organizations, athletic and other. And so, the faculty were put in control of athletics at Columbia, but alumni remained involved. Each team had a graduate manager. It was in this period, that the Columbia Lion was adopted as a sports symbol (1910).
In 1931, the University Trustees took control over intercollegiate athletics when the Athletic Association's debt exceeded $200,000. The Trustees argued that athletics should be considered a student activity, conducted by the University for the benefit of students. The takeover also coincided with the glory days of Lou Little's football teams. Between 1931 and 1934, Columbia won 30 games, tied 2 and lost 4, and won the 1934 Rose Bowl.
Ralph J. Furey, who had been appointed Director of Athletics in 1943, was the first to be appointed Director of Physical Education and Athletics in 1946. Centralizing control under one department allowed administrators to enhance the educational value of the physical education curriculum. This joint arrangement has been in place since.
Ralph J. Furey (1946-1968); Kenneth G. Germann (1967-1973); Alvin Paul (1974-1991); John A. Reeves (1991-2004); Dianne Murphy (2004-2015); Peter E. Pilling (2015-present).