Columbia University Archives

School of Journalism Founding Documents, 1892-1912, bulk 1903-1904

Summary Information


Correspondence, printed materials, drafts and copies of agreements relating to the establishment and initial organization of Columbia University's School of Journalism.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0183
Bib ID 9463856 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Archives
Title School of Journalism Founding Documents, 1892-1912, bulk 1903-1904
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 document box)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.



The files are arranged in one series. The bulk of the correspondence dates from 1903-1904 and is arranged alphabetically, as it was originally found. Other correspondence was already separated by who wrote to whom, so that arrangement has also been maintained. This means one will find correspondence for certain individuals in the general alphabetical file as well as in a name specific file.



Correspondence, printed materials, draft agreements and copies of final agreements. The bulk of the correspondence relates to various aspects of how to establish this new School of Journalism. Some correspondence makes suggestions regarding curriculum, others are applications or recommendations for teaching positions, some are invitations and acceptances of Advisory Board positions and others are about the negotiations with Joseph Pulitzer. Among the notable names that can be found in these files of correspondence are Franz Boas, John William Burgess, Nicholas Murray Butler, James M. Cattell, Charles Eliot (President of Harvard University), George Homer (Mr. Pulitzer's lawyer who wrote up the agreements), Frederick Keppel, Seth Low, Joseph Pulitzer, John Pine, George D. Rives. In the alphabetical correspondence files, there is a typescript copy of a letter written from Nicholas Murray Butler to President Theodore Roosevelt (28 July 1903) asking Roosevelt to join the Advisory Board.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

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); School of Journalism Founding Documents; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material at Columbia University

Central Files, 1890-1984 [Bulk Dates: 1890-1983]

Graduate School of Journalism Photographs, 1918-2002

Graduate School of Journalism Records, 1912-1999

Historical Subject Files, 1870s-2012. [Bulk Dates: 1968-1972]


No additionals are expected.

Ownership and Custodial History

Materials were originally found within Historical Subject Files Collection.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Jocelyn Wilk 8/--/2006.

Finding Aid written Jocelyn Wilk 8/--/2006.

Revision Description

2012-06-09 xml document instance created by Jocelyn Wilk.

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.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Agreements Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Memorandums Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Press releases Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Graduate School of Journalism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pulitzer, Joseph, 1847-1911 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The School of Journalism was established through monies left to Columbia University in the will of Joseph Pulitzer who passed away in 1911. As he wrote in his will"There are now special schools for instruction for lawyers, physicians, clergymen, military and naval officers, engineers, architects and artists, but none for the instruction of journalists. That all other professions and not journalism should have the advantage of special training seems to me contrary to reason." [pp. 3-4"Extracts from the Will of Joseph Pulitzer, died, October 29, 1911"]. The original agreements regarding the establishment and organization of the school were made in 1903 and 1904, but the school did not actually open until 1912 -- a year after Pulitzer died. The School of Journalism began as an undergraduate school offering a B.Litt. Degree to its graduates, but in 1935 the School became the first in the nation to adopt a program exclusively at the graduate level.