|Columbia University Archives|
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Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series.
This collection contains the speeches and writings of Seth Low, New York City official and twelfth President of Columbia University. The material within the collection spans from 1878 to 1916 and largely deals with Low's opinions on political (with an emphasis on municipal government), collegiate, and religious matters.
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.
There are no restrictions on this collection.
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.
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); Seth Low speeches; Box and Folder (if known); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Seth Low papers (MS Coll Low), Central Files (UA#0001) and Historical Biographical Files (UA#0004).
No additions are expected.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Brooke Clement in March 2002. Finding aid written by Joanna Rios in May 2019.
2019-05-17 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
From 1881 to 1885, while still in his early 30s, Seth Low served as mayor of Brooklyn, which at the time was the third-largest city in the United States. In that role, he greeted the politicians that opened the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24, 1883, forever linking Brooklyn to Manhattan. Having graduated from Columbia College as valedictorian in 1870, just twenty years later he was named Columbia's eleventh president (1890-1901). In that role he led the critical move of the University from Midtown Manhattan to Morningside Heights, underwrote the construction of the first building on the site with a one million dollar gift in memory of his father, oversaw the construction of its campus by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, and secured trustee approval to change the name of the institution from Columbia College to Columbia University, while retaining the locational identification, "in the City of New York." He resigned as president to become the second mayor of the newly consolidated City of New York. He pursued an active role in public service for the rest of his life, becoming president of the National Civic Federation in 1907 and president of the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1914.