|Columbia University Archives|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series: Series I: Guest books, 1912-1947.
This collection consists of 6 guest books kept at the President's House, 60 Morningside Drive. The guest books include the signatures of numerous guests attending a wide range of events held at the House during President Nicholas Murray Butler's tenure. Events include dinners with dignitatiries, dinners in honor of convocation honorees, commencement dinners, etc.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection has no restrictions.
This collection is located onsite.
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); President's House guest books; volume and page number; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
Additional information about the construction of the President's House can be found in Central Files (UA#0001). Correspondence, newspaper clippings and articles can be found in the Buildings and grounds collection (UA#0125). See also "House on the Hill" by Richmond B. Williams, Columbia College Today, Fall 1970, 36-39.
No additions are expected.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2002.054. According to an index card in volume 4, the guest books were received at Columbiana on December 23, 1947.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative. Collection was processed by Joanna Rios in March 2021.
History / Biographical Note
The President's House stands on the northeast corner of Morningside Drive and 116th Street, facing Morningside Park. It was first occupied by President Nicholas Murray Butler after it was constructed in 1912. This official residence on University property was intended to keep the President in close touch with campus life. The four-story, 21-room house was designed by McKim, Mead and White, the same firm that designed the original buildings on campus. The house was modelled on embassies and designed to host events with large numbers of guests. As constructed, the first floor contains a library, a dining room and a coat room. The second floor has a drawing room, a music room and a large central hall, which forms one large reception room. The third floor contains the family rooms and the fourth floor is for guests and servants. The kitchen was originally located in the basement.
The first event hosted at the House was a Trustees' dinner held in October 1912. President Butler, the first inhabitant, was allowed to remain in the house after his official retirement in October 1945. When he died in December 1947, his body rested in state in the gallery on the first floor. After an extensive renovation, the Eisenhowers moved in in May 1948. Presidents Grayson Kirk, William McGill and George Rupp also lived at 60 Morningside Drive. The house is currently occupied by Lee C. Bollinger, the nineteenth President of Columbia University.