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School of Journalism Founding Documents, 1892-1912 [Bulk Dates: 1903-1904]

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:School of Journalism Founding Documents, 1892-1912 [Bulk Dates: 1903-1904]
Physical description:.5 linear ft. (1 document box)
Language(s): Material is in English.


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.


Scope and Content

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

Access Restrictions

This collection is located on-site.

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; 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.

Finding aid in repository; folder level control.

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]

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 8/--/2006 Jocelyn Wilk

Finding Aid written 8/--/2006 Jocelyn Wilk

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 9, 2012

Finding aid written in English.

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

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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Press releases.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID


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

History / Biographical Note


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.