Columbia University Archives
 

Columbia College papers, 1703-1964, bulk 1754-1920

Summary Information

Abstract

The surviving files of official correspondence, reports, documents, and printed materials of King's College from 1750 to 1784 and Columbia College from 1785 to 1890, as well as Columbia University up to 1964. The King's College era materials include grants, deeds, indentures, lists of governors, leases, accounts, etc. The Columbia College era papers commence with documentation regarding the attempts to revive the college at the end of the American Revolution. In the later period these papers primarily supplement and document the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees. Much material was destroyed and scattered in the late 19th century leaving this collection quite incomplete.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0224
Bib ID 4078628 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia College (New York, N.Y.) ; Columbia College (Columbia University) ; Columbia University ; King's College (New York, N.Y.)
Title Columbia College papers, 1703-1964, bulk 1754-1920
Physical Description 60.08 linear feet (60.08 linear feet 98 document boxes, 1 half-sized document box, (3) 14 x 18 OS flat boxes, (6) 20x 24 OS flat boxes, and (5) items in OS flat folders in a mapcase)
Language(s) Material is in English.
Access

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

Arranged in three series: Series I: King's College Papers, 1703-1784; Series II: Columbia College Papers, 1784-1964; Series III: Oversized Materials, 1752-1856.

Description

Summary

The surviving files of official correspondence, reports, documents, and printed materials of King's College from 1750 to 1784 and Columbia College from 1785 to 1890, as well as Columbia University up to 1964. The King's College era materials include grants, deeds, indentures, lists of governors, leases, accounts, etc. The Columbia College era papers commences with documentation regarding the attempts to revive the college at the end of the American Revolution. In the later period these papers primarily supplement and document the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees. Much material was destroyed and scattered in the late 19th century leaving this collection quite incomplete.

  • Series I: King's College Papers

    This series contains documents relating to the establishment of King's College in 1754 and its development. These documents include correspondence of the first president, Samuel Johnson, the Governors of King's College, and others. In addition, this series contains reports, minutes, bills and receipts, appointment recommendations, and documents by and concerning the students as well as the physical plant of the college. This series also contains some documents relating to the renaming of King's College as Columbia College and appeals to the Regents of New York State.

  • Series II: Columbia College Papers

    This series contains documents relating to the newly named Columbia College, including accounts, correspondence, minutes, bills and receipts, documents by and concerning the students, leases of property, and donations. Most of this series includes correspondence, reports, and Trustees related material from before 1900, although one will find minutes and materials from trustee meetings, correspondence, receipts and accounts, speeches and documents post-dating 1900. Post-1900 items of interest include: documents concerning the Contemporary Civilization program in the 1930s, copies of Columbia College valedictorian and salutatorian speeches from the early 1960s, and a copy of the speech given at Dwight D. Eisenhower's inauguration as Columbia University President in 1948.

  • Series III: Oversized Materials

    This series contains oversized documents relating to both King's College and Columbia College. Documents are primarily property maps, indentures, land lease documents, and petitions.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

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); Columbia College Papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accrual

No additions are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 05/04/1989.

Commencement Oration of 1793 Cataloged HR 08/02/1995.

This collection was processed at the item level by the staff of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library in the 1970s and 1980s.

Some rehousing completed and EAD finding inventory compiled by Ian Post (Pratt SLS Intern) Fall 2014.

Additional re-housing and inventory work completed by Kelly Powers (CC 2018) Spring 2015.

Finding aid edited by Jocelyn Wilk Fall 2016.

Revision Description

2016-10-05 File created.

2016-10-13 xml document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Indentures Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Land grants Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Leases Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reports Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Speeches Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
minutes (administrative records) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Barnard, Frederick A. P (Frederick Augustus Porter), 1809-1889 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
College administrators Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
College administrators -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia College (Columbia University) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia College (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : History -- : 18th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : History -- : 19th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : History -- : 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : Officials and employees Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : Presidents Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Trustees Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cooper, Myles, 1737-1785 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Deeds Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dix, Morgan, 1827-1908 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Duer, William Alexander, 1780-1858 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Harris, William, 1765-1829 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, Samuel, 1696-1772 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, William Samuel, 1727-1819 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
King's College (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
King, Charles, 1789-1867 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Low, Seth, 1850-1916 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moore, Benjamin, 1748-1816 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moore, Clement Clarke, 1779-1863 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moore, Nathaniel Fish, 1782-1872 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Columbia College was originally founded as King's College in 1754 with a Royal Charter from King George II, and situated at Wall Street. The first president and first professor was Samuel Johnson. In 1767, Samuel Bard established a medical college as part of King's College. Instruction was suspended from 1776 to 1784 during the Revolutionary War; after the end of the war, King's College was renamed Columbia College to reflect the new independence from Britain. The College was temporarily a state institution until 1787, until it was incorporated under a private board of trustees, which remains in effect today.

A second campus existed on Park Place, but shortly thereafter moved to 49th Street and Madison Avenue in 1857. This location remained for forty years, and expanded to include Columbia Law School and Columbia School of Mines (now The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science). In 1890, President Seth Low advocated to divide the individual schools and colleges into distinct entities under the university's central administration, which came to include Barnard College in 1889 and Teachers College in 1891. In 1896, the trustees approved renaming the university as Columbia University in the City of New York, and Columbia College came to refer solely to the original undergraduate college. President Low also moved the Madison Avenue campus to its current location in Morningside Heights. This campus was designed by Charles McKim.