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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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Series I. Correspondence, 1899-1926
At a Glance
Series I: Correspondence and Series II. Library Office Files are processed and arranged chronologically; the remainder of the collection is unprocessed.
The office files of the University Librarian's office of Columbia University Libraries, 1889-1948. Although chiefly the correspondence of the Library Office administrative staff, there are also forms, notices, regulations, and papers concerned with policy statements of various departments and cooperative projects in which the library participated. The correspondence and related materials cover the period, 1890-1928. In addition, there are financial records for book funds, 1944-1946; for budgets, 1916-1930 and 1935-1938; for salaries, 1889-1919; and a personnel and financial analysis, 1929-1948. There are also some administrative memoranda, 1910-1916; and annual reports of the Librarian and Supervisors, 1913-1925; committee files for the Study Committee, 1968-1969; Representative Committee of Librarians, 1973-1977; Standing Committees, 1966-1970; Division Heads Meetings, 1966-1970; Committees superceded by the Professional Advisory Committee, 1970-1972; Butler Library floor plans and furnishings; Director's Office memoranda and related files, 1943-1964; Reader Services' memoranda, 1946-1953; Supervising Librarians minutes, 1953-1958; Technical Services memoranda, 1946-1953; and printed materials: LIBRARY COLUMNS, COLUMBIA LIBRARY WORLD; and Burgess-Carpenter Library Correspondence, 1950-1975.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
There are no restrictions on this collection.
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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Columbia University Library Office Files; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
Selected related Material-- at Columbia
Melvil Dewey papers, circa 1870-1931. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Butler Library Reference Department Files, 1904-1959. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University
Accrual of Records
Additions are expected.
Ownership and Custodial History
Transferred from Columbiana, 1954; transferred from the Library Office, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982& 1989; gift of Marianne von Dobeneck, 1989.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Cataloged 05/05/89 Christina Hilton Fenn.
Series II inventory was compiled by Molly Boord (GS 2021), Hannah Johns (SSW 2019), Jessica Liston (CC 2020) and Kelly Powers (CC 2018) in 2017-2018; Series II finding aid written by Joanna Rios, December 2018.
2015-8-18 xml document instance created by Sierra Eckert.
December 2018 Series II was processed and incorporated into the finding aid.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
The Columbia University Library played an important role in the changing nature of the library and of American library management and administration more broadly. During the 1880s, under the direction of Melvil Dewey as the head librarian, the university became the site of the first school for professional librarian training, Melvil Dewey's School for Library Economy, which opened its doors to students in 1887. The library became a locus for the increasing professionalization of the field of library management as over the course of the 1890s, graduates of Dewey's school––many of them women––moved into staff positions within the library. The l890s marked the beginning of a period of transformation in the structure of Columbia University and its library. In the 1890s, the university established a number of its professional schools and graduate schools. Under the leadership of George Baker, from 1889-1899, the Columbia University Library expanded its collection, and James Hulme Canfield oversaw the growth of the library from the small library of Columbia College to the large metropolitan research library.