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Margaret Bourke-White Photographs 1931

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Margaret Bourke-White Photographs 1931
Physical description:0.5 linear feet (1 20.5x16.5 print box).
Language(s):In English


This collection is arranged in 1 series:


Scope and Content

Three black and white silver gelatin photoprints 9.5"x13.5" (24 x 34 cm) adhered to 13.75"x19.25" (35 x 49 cm) board depicting Low Memorial Library, St. Paul's Chapel and the School of Mines Building, and one print mounted on smaller 9.75" and 14.25" (25 x 36.5 cm) board have the caption, "This print of a photograph made by Margaret Bourke-White in 1931 for the Columbia University Press has been loaned by the Press to the Men's Faculty Club". One print of same dimensions with window mat depicts the Van Am Quadrangle. Two non-mounted prints of the same size, depicting the School of Mines and Hamilton Hall are part of this collection of photographs that were for sale to the public in 1931. Two additional photoprints of Avery Hall are included, made of similar photo paper, dimensions, style and mat, but not attributed to Bourke-White, nor mentioned in the photo order form. All photographs are unsigned.

The order form also list one image not found in the collection: "Earl Hall." The prints were offered through the Columbia University Press. Four small copies of the views: Earl Hall, In the Van Am Quadrangle, The Chapel Entrance, and The School of Mines, are included with the order form. The form describes the photographs as follows:

"These pictures are reproductions of photographs taken early this summer by the well-known photographer, Miss Margaret Bourke-White, at the request of Columbia University Press. The actual photographs 9 ¼ by 13 ½ inches, are appropriately mounted on the finest material, 14 ¼ by 21 inches, ready for framing. Individually signed by Miss Bourke-White, they will be made on order, and shipped within two weeks from receipt of orders. The cost of the photographs is five dollars each."

One photograph 9.5"x13.5" (24 x 34 cm) with signed window mat depicting Low Memorial Library, and fourteen non-mounted photographs of the same dimensions depicting views of Hamilton Hall, the School of Mines Building, Avery Hall, Low Memorial Library, Earl Hall, St. Paul's Chapel, Milbank Hall (Barnard College), and Russell Hall (Teacher's College) were added to this collection from the Columbiana General Manuscripts Collection in 2010.

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on 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); Margaret Bourke-White Photographs; Box and Folder (if known); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jennifer Ulrich. Finding aid written by Jennifer Ulrich in January 2003. Finding aid revised by Jennifer Ulrich in January 2005. Finding aid revised by Brenna Lee (Pratt SLS Intern) in December 2010.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 29, 2009

Finding aid written in English.

    2009-10-29 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Photographic printsPortalCLIOArchiveGRID


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Bourke-White, Margaret, 1904-1971.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Architecture.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University--Buildings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note


Margaret Bourke-White was born in New York City and grew up in Bound Brook, New Jersey. She enrolled at Columbia University in 1921 where she studied photography under Clarence H. White (no relation), a noted photographer in the Photo-Secession movement. She transferred to the University of Michigan in 1922, later took courses at Western Reserve University, and ultimately received her bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1927. Her first book, Eyes on Russia, resulted from an assignment documenting Russian industrialization for the magazine Fortune.

By 1931, Bourke-White was a widely recognized photojournalist when she photographed the Morningside Campus for the Columbia University Press, offering six total views for sale to the public. She continued to receive accolades for her work in photojournalism, joining the staff of Life Magazine in 1936 and serving as a correspondent in the Soviet Union during the Second World War. She was married to Everett Chapman 1924-1926 and writer Erskine Caldwell 1939-1942.