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Department of History Records, 1890-1959

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Department of History Records, 1890-1959
Physical description:2 cubic feet (2 record cartons)
Language(s):In English
Access:restricted . See University Archives-Columbiana Library Access Policy. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least forty-eight (48) business hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »


This collection is arranged in one series:


Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of correspondence pertaining to the administration of the History Department for the late 1920s through the 1950s. Though the correspondence is incomplete, the most comprehensive period represented in the collection is for the 1930s and 1940s. Correspondence relates to general administrative matters including curriculum decisions, faculty appointments, Summer Session arrangements, and recommendations. The correspondence is maintained in its original order according to the name of the Executive Officer or faculty member at the time. In addition to correspondence of Executive Officers, some of the correspondence is from Jacques Barzun, professor of history, and Dixon Ryan Fox, director of the Summer Session program for the department. Below is a time line of the Executive Officers represented in this collection.

The collection also contains grade reports and attendance records for the 1890s through the 1920s. Professor Frederick Barry’s grade reports for students of his History of Science courses are foldered separately andrestricted. In addition, the collection includes monthly financial statements for the department for the late 1950s and English composition and cooperative exams for the department. The exams, except for exam blanks and instructions, arerestricted.

The folders are arranged alphabetically by folder title or last name of the professor represented in the correspondence. Correspondence within the folders is either arranged chronologically or alphabetically by surname of the correspondent. The original order of the correspondence has been maintained. Correspondence can be found under the name of the correspondent or by name of a subject or organization such as University Extension, Florida, and Registrar.

One issue of particular note, discussed in the correspondence between John A. Krout and Robert D. Calkins of the Business School, is on how to involve students in graduate training for wartime government service.

Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

A few folders contain personal information and arerestricted. See University Archives-Columbiana Library Access Policy.

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least forty-eight (48) business hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Preferred Citation

Department of History. Columbia University Archives-Columbiana 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

Records processed 2003 Abby Lester

Finding aid written 2003 Abby Lester

Finding aid reformatted 2008 Elizabeth Nolte

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

Finding aid written in English.

    2012-02-07 xml document instance created by Alison Rhonemus

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:


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Barry, Frederick, 1876-1943PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Barzun, Jacques, 1907-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University.--Administration.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Columbia University.--Dept. of History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Evans, Austin P. (Austin Patterson)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fox, Dixon Ryan, 1887-1945PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hayes, Carlton Joseph Huntley, 1882-1964PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
History--Study and teaching.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Krout, John Allen, 1896-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

The School of Political Science began offering history courses to Columbia students in the 19th century. Francis Lieber was hired as the first Professor of History and Political Science leading to the beginning of the teaching of history at Columbia. Yet, the Trustees did not establish a separate Department of History until November, 1896. For further information on the development of the Department of History, see A History of the Faculty of Political Science , by R. Gordon Hoxie, et al., 1955, pp. 207-249.

The collection contains correspondence representing periods of tenure of five professors of history. Following are brief outlines of their careers at Columbia University. Frederick Barry (1876-1943), first holder of a chair in the United States devoted entirely to the History of Science, began teaching at Columbia in 1912 and taught until his death in 1943. Jacques Barzun (b. 1908) began lecturing in Columbia College in 1928 and remained at the University through his entire academic career. He became professor emeritus in 1975. The Department appointed Carlton J. H. Hayes (1882-1964) in 1907, before receiving his Ph.D. He became Seth Low Professor Emeritus in 1950. Austin P. Evans (1884-1962) began teaching at Columbia in 1915. He remained at Columbia until his retirement in 1951. John A. Krout (1897-1979) began teaching history at Columbia in 1922. He became Dean of Graduate Faculties in 1949, later Provost and eventually Vice-President of the University. He retired in 1958.