|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
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At a Glance
This collection is organized in four series: Series 1: Administrative Files, 1934-1942 (1 box, 0.50 lin. ft.); Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-1943 (2 boxes, 1.00 lin. ft.); Series 3: Publications, 1935-1941 (1 box, 0.25 lin. ft.); Series 4: Partner Institutions, 1928-1943 (4 boxes, 1.50 lin. ft.)
Scope and Contents
This collection contains administrative files, including records relating to the establishment of NECA and the work of William Adams Brown and others, Five Year Stabilization Fund reports, materials relating to professors and their position in the college, and other documents; correspondence, including extensive correspondence regarding the establishment of NECA, the various schools and people involved, and events that were occurring in the area, with the majority of the correspondence sent to or by William Adams Brown, his wife, or his secretary; publications, including published materials depicting the history of NECA, as well as events occurring in the area such as earthquakes in Turkey, restrictions on land sale in Palestine, and the consequences of World War Two; and material related to partner institutions, including correspondence, financial records, programs and events, anniversary booklets, and reports to Trustees regarding attendance, staff, academic council, buildings and grounds, agricultural activities, finances, and outstanding problems.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL2, Near/Middle East
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, MRL2: Near East College Association Records, series #, box #, and folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Robert College records, 1858-2018. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
American College for Girls records, 1880s-1979. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were moved with the MRL to the Brown Memorial Tower of Union Theological Seminary in 1929, and accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
This collection was created from a large group of unprocessed material. Select metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. The finding aid was created by Brigette C. Kamsler in 2013 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
July 25, 2013 XML instance document created by Brigette C. Kamsler.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2021-11-16 EAD spot checked and corrected and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The plan for a college association in the Near East began with Cleveland H. Dodge in 1919. In the interest of efficiency and saving money, Dodge believed that Robert College in Istanbul and the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut should have a joint office in the United States. Albert W. Staub, who would become Executive Secretary of the Joint Office, was sent to visit the colleges and report back on educational problems in the Near East. The result of this survey showed financial deficits at each college totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 1920, the Syrian Protestant College was renamed the American University in Beirut. The Joint Office was so popular that other organizations were included. The member organizations of the newly-established Near East College Association (NECA) were Robert College, Istanbul; the American University of Beirut, Syria; the American College for Girls at Istanbul; the American College of Sofia, Bulgaria; the International College in Izmir, Smyrna; and Athens College, Greece. Many of these organizations had originally been founded by American missionaries. Original executive committee members included William Morgan Kingsley, Arthur Curtiss James, Stephen Baker, Henry Sloane Coffin, George A. Plimpton, Harold A. Hatch, Lucius R. Eastman, James L. Barton, and Edward Capps. The organization was incorporated in March 1927. Using private donors, organizations, clubs, educational foundations, and international relief, funds were raised and educational locations in the Near East were reorganized. Endowments for each were successfully filled in 1940, but the NECA Trustees approved the permanent continuation of the Association. The Boards of Trustees for Robert College and the American College for Girls at Istanbul decided, "for the purpose of simplifying the problem of dealing with the Turkish Government officials and in the interest of coordination and progress," to elect a common President, appoint joint professorships, and share financial burdens. Dr. Paul Monroe was appointed President on May 18, 1932. Problems in 1933 at the International College in Izmir, Smyrna led to a two-year investigation by the Board of Trustees who eventually liquidated the college; the property was sold to the Turkish Government. The work at the International College became affiliated in 1936 with the American University of Beirut. According to the Near East Colleges Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 2 published June 1947, two more institutions were added: The American School for Boys, Baghdad, Iraq; and Damascus College, Syria. Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece, joined NECA in 1950. Dr. William Adams Brown was appointed President of the Board of Directors in May 1936, assuming the role from William Morgan Kingsley. He would serve until his death in 1941, when he was succeeded by Henry C. Holt. Allen W. Dulles assumed the responsibility in 1946, followed by Harold B. Hoskins in 1951. The institutions of the Near East College Association continue to exist, as does the Near East College Association.