Columbia University Archives
 

Office of the Secretary records, 1866-2004

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0085
Bib ID 5802498 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Office of the Secretary
Title Office of the Secretary records, 1866-2004
Physical Description 98.42 linear feet (29 record cartons, 47 document boxes, 1 half document box (48.82 LF) (Series I-X, processed))
Language(s) English .
Access

All administrative records of the University are restricted for 25 years from the date of creation. Trustee materials are closed for 50 years after their creation.

The RBML cannot provide access to original time-based media material which has not been first been reformatted for preservation. Researchers are welcome to examine archival time-based media items and decide whether they wish to place an order for Audio/Video reformatting. If copyright and/or condition restrictions apply, it may not be possible to digitize a requested item. Please note that A/V reformatting is handled by an outside vendor and typically takes 6-8 weeks.

The following boxes are located offsite: Series II, IV-IX. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in ten series.

Description

Summary

This collection consists of the records of the Office of the Secretary: Trustee materials and minutes, agreements, trustee biographical files, honor and prizes files, by-laws and statutes, reports, publications, and correspondence.

  • Series I: Agreements, 1868-1997

    This collection contains copies of correspondence and official documents maintained by the Office of the Secretary pertaining to various agreements between Columbia University and other institutions and organizations between the years 1868 and 1997. These materials were transferred from Office of the Secretary under the auspices of DiAnn Pierce in the early 1990s. Related materials can be found in the Wills and Agreements from the Office of the President.

  • Series II: Alphabetical Files, 1895-1998

    These files were received by the University Archives in July 1998. The files are alphabetically arranged office files from the Office of the Secretary with bulk dates ranging from 1967-1995; earlier dates usually refer to photocopies of earlier resolutions and correspondence collected by the office to answer a question posed in more recent years. Three files of "historical" materials were added to this collection in 2001 by staff members as they appear to date from the same time period as the other files and are of a similar nature. The files "Columbia Symbols," "Columbia's Name, Use of" and "Office of the Secretary - History" are listed alphabetically within this finding aid but can physically be found at the back of Box 15. With the exception of these three files just mentioned, none of the files have been refoldered, and none of the files have been weeded or have had metal fasteners removed as of June 2004.

  • Series III. Binders of Information, 1928-1988

    The Office of the Secretary maintained binders of information containing indices to Trustee minutes and committee minutes, information regarding by-laws and statutes for both the Board of Trustees and Faculties and Departments as well as historical information on named professorships. These were removed from the binders and placed in folders by Raju Mann, a student worker, in the summer of 1999. Set numbers from the original binders were maintained. Each file has a code which is composed of a two-letter designation for the set, along with a sequential number of the file within the entire set. These appear in parentheses after the folder title in this list. Some additional by-law materials, charter and statute materials, and affirmative action procedures were added to the end of box 9 from files and a binder found in a box of publications obtained from the Office of the Secretary in March 2000.

  • Series IV: Honors and Prizes, 1910-1999

    These boxes, part of accession 2001-048 (originally received in March 2000), contain files from the Office of the Secretary regarding various prizes, honors, special convocations and lectures administered by that office and/or the Board of Trustees. The records have been arranged alphabetically and chronologically and are housed in three record cartons. Photographs have been removed to the Historical Photograph Collection (UA#0003).

  • Series V: Office Files, 1946-1997

    This series contains correspondence, office files and information binders.

  • Series VI: Presidential Search Committees, 1993-1994

    This small collection contains materials used by the presidential search committees formed to find and appoint new presidents for both Barnard College and Teachers College in 1993-1994. Corinne Reider, Secretary of the University, was chosen by Columbia University President George Rupp as Columbia's representative on the Barnard Presidential Search Committee and as the Columbia representative on the Teachers College Presidential Selection Committee. These are, presumably, her files. The files contain CVs, memos, notes, references and other supporting materials relating to the candidates for the two presidencies. Also included are published materials relating to the searches as well as the announcement of Judith Shapiro's appointment as president of Barnard College and the appointment of Arthur Levine as president of Teachers College.

  • Series VII: Publications, Video Tapes and Audio Cassettes, 1866-1995

    These boxes contain duplicate university publications, university-related videos and audio cassettes transferred from the Office of the Secretary in March 2000. The publications consist primarily of old editions of charters and statutes, by-laws of the Trustees, rules of order for the Trustees, and faculty handbooks. The audio cassettes are of university events and/or speeches and meetings; the videos are a mix of university and non-university productions and clips.

  • Series VIII: Reports and By-Laws, 1923-1992

    This box contains copies of various reports and by-laws once maintained by the Office of the Secretary. These materials were transferred from that office to the University Archives in 1997.

  • Series IX: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)'s Regional Institutes, 1944-2004

    In February 2004, The Office of the Secretary (with assistance from the University Archives and School of International and Public Affairs [SIPA]), compiled various documents regarding SIPA's Regional Institutes. Relevant materials from Trustee Minutes, Trustee Committee Minutes and Central Files were photocopied and arranged into indexed file folders for easy reference by that office. The original copy was kept by the Secretary's Office and a second copy was given to the University Archives. This box contains the Archives' copy of these subject specific documents as well as some relevant notes kept the University Archives as the research was conducted.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

All administrative records of the University are restricted for 25 years from the date of creation. Trustee materials are closed for 50 years after their creation.

The RBML cannot provide access to original time-based media material which has not been first been reformatted for preservation. Researchers are welcome to examine archival time-based media items and decide whether they wish to place an order for Audio/Video reformatting. If copyright and/or condition restrictions apply, it may not be possible to digitize a requested item. Please note that A/V reformatting is handled by an outside vendor and typically takes 6-8 weeks.

The following boxes are located offsite: Series II, IV-IX. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least three business in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

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); Office of the Secretary records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.

Accruals

Additions are expected.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jocelyn Wilk in 2004, including some updating of previously processed materials: Series I by Claudia Howell, 2001; Series III by Raju Mann, 1999; and Sub-series V.3 by Marilyn Petit, 2002. Series IX was processed by Jocelyn Wilk in 2006. Series X was processed by Jennifer Ulrich in 2005.

Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.

Revision Description

2021-02-09 Container list (Series I-X) published. (JR)

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.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
College administrators Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- : Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Trustees Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

The title of University Secretary was created by President Seth Low to more accurately describe the work of his personal secretary, William H.H. Beebe, in 1895. As part of the Low's reorganization of Columbia College into Columbia University, the University Secretary managed the business of the new university, communicating with the new University Council, the faculties, the administrative boards, and the Board of Trustees. Over the years, the role of the Secretary evolved to serve as custodians of the University documents and records and keepers of the charters and statutes. The Office has also coordinated public ceremonies (awards, graduations, etc.) and overseen honorary degrees and other university awards. They serve as the main liaison with the Board of Trustees.

William H.H. Beebe (1895-1902), Frederick P. Keppel (1902-1910), Frank D. Fackenthal (1910-1937), Philip M. Hayden (1937-1949), Richard Herpers (1949-1961), Edward McMenamin (1961-1971), Marion E. Jemmott (Acting 1972-1978, Secretary 1978-1988), Corinne Reider (1988-1996), DiAnn K. Pierce (Acting 1996), R. Keith Walton (1996-2007) and Jerome Davis (2007 to present (2021)).