Papers of Arthur Levitt Jr., Former Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Available at Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library


New York, October 2, 2002 - Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library has completed arranging and describing the papers of Arthur Levitt Jr., Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from 1993 to 2001. Recently, the Library received thirteen boxes of new materials, spanning the years 1993 to 2000 that are being added to the existing collection. These new materials contain files regarding significant cases and events during Mr. Levitt's SEC tenure, materials on auditors' independence and market regulation, and a collection of original news clippings, photos and correspondence.

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University Librarian James G. Neal said, "The Levitt collection is a significant resource for researchers focused on recent U.S. business history and to those interested in an important American family that influenced many critical economic debates."

Mr. Levitt made his original gift of materials to Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscript Library in February, 2001. That initial collection consists of 22 linear feet in 34 boxes of correspondence, speeches, speech materials, news clippings, subject files, audio and videotapes related to Mr. Levitt's professional activities. The papers and audiovisual material deal primarily with his tenure as Chairman of US SEC (1993 - Jan. 2001). A gift from the Norman and Rosita Winston Foundation funded the processing of the collection.

The collection also contains earlier records, including some materials relating to Mr. Levitt's school years at Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School and Williams College, his work at Hayden Stone, the American Stock Exchange and the New York City Economic Development corporation, and his advocacy of the National Endowment of Arts during the 1991-92 funding controversy. In addition, there are materials relating to his father, Arthur Levitt Sr., who served for 24 years as New York State comptroller.

Of special note are speeches and testimonies by Mr. Levitt and his congressional correspondence as the 25th SEC Chairman. Both speeches and correspondence are fully indexed in the finding aid on Columbia's LibraryWeb at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/libraries/indiv/rare/guides/Levitt/.

Arthur Levitt Jr. was the 25th Chairman of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission first appointed by President Clinton in July 1993 and reappointed to a second five-year term in May 1998. The longest serving Chairman in the history of the Commission, Arthur Levitt Jr. retired from SEC on February 9, 2001.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is an independent, nonpartisan quasi-judicial regulatory agency with responsibility for administering the federal securities laws. The purpose of these laws is to protect investors in securities markets that operate fairly and to ensure that investors have access to disclosure of all material information concerning publicly traded securities. The Commission also regulates firms engaged in the purchase or sale of securities and people who provide investment advice and investment companies. Five Commissioners sit on the SEC with one designated as Chairman by the President of the United States.

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, located on the 6th Floor East of the Columbia University Butler Library, at 535 West 114th Street at Broadway, New York, is home to over 600,000 rare books, 28 million manuscripts filed in 3,000 separate collections, 75,000 photographs, and 40,000 prints and drawings. In addition to printed and manuscript resources, the library contains cuneiform tablets, papyri, maps, works of art, posters, sound recordings and other interesting objects and materials. The library's website with collections and service information is at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/rbml/index.html.

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written: 10/02/02 KRS
Photo Credit: US Securities and Exchange Commission