University Archives Collections

The Columbia University Archives preserves the institutional memory of Columbia University from its founding in 1754 to the present day.  Among its holdings are non-current official University records, publications, master’s essays, photographs, scrapbooks, artifacts and a variety of other materials related to student life, faculty and alumni.

University Archives collections can be found by searching the Archival Collections Portal. This portal provides access to records of archival collections at Columbia University Libraries, including finding aids, collection descriptions and some of the available digital content.  The Collections Overview section of the University Archives website also provides description of the most highly accessed University Archives manuscript collections, how they are organized and for what topics you may find them useful.

In addition to the manuscripts, the Columbiana Library is a large book collection consisting of university-related publications. Many of these titles can be found in CLIO, the Columbia Libraries online catalog. There is also a paper card catalog in the University Archives reading room that can be used to find these publications. The paper card catalog is also useful for finding references to specific articles from two major university publications: Columbia Alumni News and Columbia University Quarterly.

If you need help in identifying what materials you need to learn more about the history of Columbia or to find information on a former Columbia student, faculty or staff member, please contact