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Table of Contents
Using the Collection
Note: some material may be restricted or offsite
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At a Glance
The files are arranged in three series.
The records are comprised primarily of correspondence concerning the proposals, reports, awards and financial allotments for specific projects. The correspondence files also include rejected projects arranged alphabetically by applicant. There is also some internal correspondence between the Council and the Secretary of the University, the Council and department chairs, meeting minutes and agendas, and annual reports of the Council.
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 is located offsite. 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.
This collection has no restrictions.
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); Council for Research in the Humanities Records; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Selected Related Material at Columbia
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Accession 1997.003: Source of acquisition--University Archives. Date of acquisition--1997.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers processed Marilyn H. Pettit 2004.
Papers re-processed Jocelyn Wilk June 2006.
This finding aid was adapted from a legacy finding aid. Additions were processed by Alyssa Nicole Meyers, GSAS 2009, in June 2007.
2009-10-29 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2022-02-11 Access note changed. Collection now stored offsite. (JR)
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The Council for Research in the Humanities was officially established by the University Council at its meeting on February 21, 1928. The Research Council's founding was inspired by findings at a Conference on the Status of Humanistic Studies in the U.S. (Washington, D.C., December 10 and 11, 1926) under the auspices of the General Education Board. In short, the conference found that researchers in the area of the humanities were in need of better funding to aid their research and eventual publication. Despite the fact that humanistic research was considered important and significant, it was not as high profile as that done in the social or physical sciences and, therefore, not as well funded. By establishing the Research Council, Columbia University was able to provide much needed financial aid to selected researchers in the humanities.
Allotments were to cover expenses incurred in the research process - everything from clerical assistance, to travel funds and photographic reproductions - and sometimes were extended to publishing costs. Initially this venture was funded by the General Education Board, through a three-year grant of $112,500. When this grant ran out, funding was obtained from the Rockefeller Foundation. Later on, monies would also come from within the University itself. Many individuals received grants over the years, but among the more prominent researchers who received grants were Lynn Thorndike, Ruth Benedict, and Franz Boas. Grants continued to be distributed by the Research Council into the 1980s and very early 1990s.
The first Research Council consisted of nine members: Professors W.B. Dinsmoor, R.H. Fife, J.L. Gerig, L.R. Gray, G.P. Krapp, N.G. McCrea, S.B. Murray, H.W. Schneider, and Austin P. Evans. Professor Fife was elected Chairman and Professor McCrea was elected Secretary.