Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Diplomas and Certificates Collection, 1714-2003, bulk 1800-1959

Summary Information

Abstract

This is an artificial collection of diplomas and certificates awarded to people associated with Columbia University from its founding as Kings College in 1754. Some diplomas found in this collection were awarded to Columbia-related individuals by other institutions. Also includes certificates presented to individuals and to the University as an institution, usually for honorary purposes. Correspondence directly related to some of these honors can also be found in this collection.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0023
Bib ID 8429406 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Archives
Title Diplomas and Certificates Collection, 1714-2003, bulk 1800-1959
Physical Description 56.87 linear feet OS Flat boxes (56.87 linear feet OS Flat boxes 25 MsB 3 Tube Box 1 map case drawers)
Language(s) English , Italian , French , German , Spanish; Castilian , Latin .
Access

The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 1-29. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least (2) business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in one series: Series I. Diplomas and Certificates.

Description

Summary

This artificial collection is comprised of individual diplomas and certificates awarded by Columbia and other institutions to people who have been associated with Columbia University from its inception as Kings College to the present. Included are examples of diplomas issued by the various schools at Columbia and for the different types of degrees awarded by these schools. The series also contains ceremonial certificates of greeting presented to the University on special occasions, such as the 1954 Bicentennial, certificates presented to individuals by other organizations, and some correspondence regarding honors bestowed on individuals.

  • Series I. Diplomas and Certificates

    This series is comprised of individual diplomas and certificates from both Columbia and other institutions which were presented to people with Columbia University associations dating from its inception as Kings College to the present. In some cases there is related correspondence included with the diplomas or certificates. Examples of diplomas from the various schools under the umbrella of Columbia University (e.g, Columbia College, School of Mines, College of Physicians and Surgeons) and the different degrees offered to students by Columbia (e.g, B.A., M.A., PhD., M.D.) are found in this collection. The series also contains ceremonial certificates of greeting and distinction presented to the University on special occasions such Dwight Eisenhower's installation as President of Columbia in 1948, the 1954 Bicentennial of Columbia University's establishment, and for national service work such as the development of the atomic bomb. There are many diplomas and certificates received by particular individuals. Most notable are those received by Nicholas Murray Butler, Samuel Johnson and his family, John Erskine, Frederick A.P. Barnard, Seth Low, and Frederick de Peyster, Jr.

General Note

Other Finding Aids: Central Files (UA#0001)

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

The following boxes are located off-site: Boxes 1-29. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least (2) 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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Diplomas and Certificates Collections; Box and Folder (if known); University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Related Collections:

Central Files (UA#0001). Columbia University Libraries.

Accrual

No additions are expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by staff of the University Archives and Columbiana Library in Spring and Summer 2015.

Container list information was reformatted by Christina Cary (CC 2015) and Mary Constant (CC 2017) 2015.

Finding aid written by Jocelyn Wilk November 2015.

Revision Description

2015-11-17 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Certificates Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Degrees, Academic Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
diplomas Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Barnard, Frederick A. P (Frederick Augustus Porter), 1809-1889 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cardozo, Benjamin N (Benjamin Nathan), 1870-1938 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia College (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. College of Physicians and Surgeons Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. School of Mines Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Erskine, John, 1879-1951 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fackenthal, Frank Diehl, 1883-1968 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Howe, Herbert Barber, 1882-1957 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, Samuel, 1696-1772 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, William Samuel, 1727-1819 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, William Samuel, 1795-1883 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kemp, James Furman, 1859-1926 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
King's College (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Kirk, Grayson L (Grayson Louis), 1903-1997 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Low, Seth, 1850-1916 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Moore, Nathaniel Fish, 1782-1872 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nevins, Allan, 1890-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sovern, Michael I Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Columbia University, the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States, was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. Samuel Johnson, the College's first president, held the first classes in October 1754 in the vestry room of the Trinity Church schoolhouse on lower Broadway. There were eight students in this first class. This room housed classes until 1760 when the school moved to a building on Park Place in downtown Manhattan, near the present site of City Hall. Classes were suspended during the American Revolution in 1776 and the building was used as a barrack and hospital for both British and American troops. When instruction resumed in 1784, King's College changed its name to Columbia, in keeping with the contemporary political climate.

Classes continued in the Park Place campus building until 1857, when, to accommodate its continuing expansion, the college moved to 49th Street and Madison Avenue. It remained at this site for forty years, until 1897, when the university was moved by President Seth Low to the more spacious Morningside Heights campus, designed as an urban academic village by McKim, Mead, and White.

During the last half of the nineteenth century, Columbia rapidly assumed the shape of a modern university. The Columbia School of Law was founded in 1858. The country's first mining school, a precursor of today's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, was established in 1864 and awarded the first Columbia Ph.D. in 1875. Barnard College for women became affiliated with Columbia in 1889; the medical school came under the aegis of the University in 1891, followed by Teachers College in 1893. In the 1880s, Columbia developed graduate faculties in political science, philosophy, and pure science, establishing Columbia as one of the nation's earliest center for graduate education. In 1896, the Trustees authorized the use of yet another new name, Columbia University, and today the institution is officially known as Columbia University in the City of New York.

During the presidency of Nicholas Murray Butler (1902-1945), Columbia emerged as a preeminent national center for educational innovation and scholarly achievement. The study of the sciences flourished along with the liberal arts. Franz Boas founded the modern science of anthropology at Columbia in the early decades of the twentieth century; the School of Journalism was established by bequest of Joseph Pulitzer in 1912; a course of study of original masterworks for undergraduates was created which ultimately developed into what is now known as the Core Curriculum; and atomic research was conducted by Columbia faculty, bringing the Physics Department to international prominence. In 1946, the School of International Affairs (now the School of International and Public Affairs) was founded marking the beginning of intensive growth in international relations as a major scholarly focus of the University.

Columbia continued to expand in the ensuing decades -- improving both its physical plant and creating new programs and infrastructure for a growing campus and community. Today it is considered one of the pre-eminent institutions of higher learning in the country and in the world.