Columbia University Archives: Student Life

University Archives

Butler Library postcardColumbia University Archives
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Butler Library, 6th Floor
535 West 114th Street
New York, NY 10027

Phone: (212) 854-3786
Fax: (212) 854-1365
E-mail: uarchives@columbia.edu

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Related Collections

Barnard College
The Barnard Archives and Special Collections serves as the final repository for the historical records of Barnard College, from its founding in 1889 to the present day. For more information, please contact archives@barnard.edu.

Health Sciences Library
The Archives and Special Collections at the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library of Columbia University can help you find information about the schools of the Medical Center: College of Physicians & Surgeons, School of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine (formerly the School of Dental & Oral Surgery), Mailman School of Public Health, and the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences. For more information, please contact hslarchives@columbia.edu.

Student Life Photographs

How to find photographs of student life on campus

These collections are only available in person at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) reading room.Visitors are required to register their own Special Collections Research Account before their visit and to validate the account in person with government-issued photo identification or Columbia ID card. Once you have created your Special Collections Research Account, you will be able to request the materials directly from the finding aids: click the check box located on the right for the box(es) you need, and then scroll back to the top of the container list document and click “Submit Request” button in the red-rimmed box at top. This should lead you directly to your Special Collections Research Account to complete the request form. For more information on how to access our collections, check out our Research & Access website.


To start your search:
  • For more recent dates (1998-2006), look at Series V: Eileen Barroso Photographs in the Office of Public Affairs Photograph Collection (OPA). As University Photographer, Barroso captures various university events, lectures, panels, orientation activities, campus and building images, sporting events, special occasions, events organized by various schools and departments (e.g., General Studies, Columbia College, Journalism, Business School) and many faculty and staff portraits.

For student life in the 1940s:

This collection consists of black and white photographs, mostly 8 by 10 inches in size, taken by John K. Mladinov (BA 1942, BS 1949) while a student at Columbia College (1939-1942). Mladinov's photographs, some of which were published in the yearbook and in the Columbia Alumni News magazine, include classrooms, lab experiments, students taking exams, commencement, athletic events, and Army and Navy activities on campus during World War II.

For student life in the 1960s:

This collection contains student photographer Frank Pokorny's negatives from 1966 to 1967. The photographs, mostly taken for the Columbia College yearbook, the Columbian, document student life at the university in the mid-1960s.

For student life in the late 1960 and early 1970s:

Although the main focus of this collection is on what transpired in 1968, materials also document events leading up to the April 1968 strike, the aftermath of those events, as well as subsequent student strikes in 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972. The photographs in this collection depict protest, activism and campus life, and off campus protests, between the fall of 1967 and 1973, primarily from the perspective of student and university photographers.

For student life in the 1980s and 1990s:
For student life in the 2000s:

This collection of color photographs documents major campus events organized or supported by the Division of Student Affairs from 2003 to 2004. Events include Move-In Day for the freshmen class in August 2003, Columbia 250th "Birthday Bash" in October 2003, Homecoming and Family Weekend in 2003, and Columbia College and School of Engineering Class Day graduation ceremonies 2004.

For more information on how to access our collections, check out our Research & Access website. If you have any questions about how to find materials or how to access materials, please contact uarchives@columbia.edu.

These collections are only available in person at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) reading room.Visitors are required to register their own Special Collections Research Account before their visit and to validate the account in person with government-issued photo identification or Columbia ID card. Once you have created your Special Collections Research Account, you will be able to request the materials directly from the finding aids: click the check box located on the right for the box(es) you need, and then scroll back to the top of the container list document and click “Submit Request” button in the red-rimmed box at top. This should lead you directly to your Special Collections Research Account to complete the request form. For more information on how to access our collections, check out our Research & Access website.


For Varsity Show:

The Varsity Show Records document the history of Columbia University's Varsity Show, an annual student written and produced musical that lampoons Columbia life. Series II contains the show's photographs, mostly production photographs, but also some backstage and rehearsal photographs are also included. Photographs are arranged by production from 1894 to 1982.

For student life in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences:

This collection consists of photographs, negatives, and contact sheets of alumni and alumni activities, faculty, students and annual events which were taken to illustrate the School of Engineering and Applied Science alumni magazine Columbia Engineering.

For student life in the Graduate School of Journalism:

Black and white photographic prints and negatives, color prints and negatives, slides and transparencies document the activities of the School of Journalism, including students, faculty, administrators, visitors, and events.

 

For more information on how to access our collections, check out our Research & Access website. If you have any questions about how to find materials or how to access materials, please contact uarchives@columbia.edu.

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About the images

Top - Graduate School of Journalism Class of 1967 students in the newsroom classroom. (Scan #2634) Academics. Instruction,  Broadcast Journalism, ca. 1965, Graduate School of Journalism Photographs (Box 3, folder 4), University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Right - Pedestrians crossing Broadway. (Scan #3075) Student Activities, Historical Photograph Collection (Box 195 Folder 12), University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.