Rare Book & Manuscript Library Acquires Archives from Teachers College


NEW YORK, September 7, 2007 Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library recently acquired six important archival collections from Teachers College related to the history of education and social reform, with a focus on New York. Among them are the records of four social agencies, Hudson Guild, Grosvenor Neighborhood House, the Children’s Village and the Wiltwyck School; and the papers of two individuals, Dan Carpenter, former executive director of the Hudson Guild, and Godfrey Dewey, noted spelling reformist.

These collections document the history of the family, immigration, and social conditions in New York City from the mid-19th century to the present and relate well to Columbia University Libraries’ strong holdings of primary source material in the area, such as the papers of Lillian Wald and the records of the Union Settlement Association of New York and the La Guardia Memorial House.

Hudson Guild Records
The Hudson Guild records document the institution from its origins in the 1890s, when it organized clubs for Chelsea boys, to its work a century later, when it provided a wide range of social services to West Side residents. The records offer a unique view of the first wave of the settlement house movement in America, and document social conditions, demographic change, political activity, and philanthropy in New York City.

The records of the Hudson Guild consist of 73 cartons (approximately 34 linear feet) of correspondence, administrative records, photographs, news clippings and other original documents. A finding aid is available in the form of a printed guide located at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library Reference Center.

Grosvenor Neighborhood House Records
The records for Grosvenor Neighborhood House document the settlement from its incorporation in 1916 when it sponsored day care and hot lunch programs for East Side children, to its activities over seventy-five years later when it provided social services to youth and families on the Upper West Side. The records consist of 22 cartons (approximately 12 linear feet) of correspondence, memoranda, financial records, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other material generated or accumulated by Grosvenor Neighborhood House.

A finding aid is available in the form of a printed guide located at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library Reference Center. For more information, call 212-854-5153.

The Children’s Village Records
The Children’s Village opened in 1853 as the New York Juvenile Asylum. In 1905 it moved to Dobbs Ferry, NY and changed its name to Children’s Village. The records contain annual reports, correspondence, clippings, photographs, and memorabilia in 5 boxes plus bound volumes that detail both the history of a single institution as well as the evolution of care, treatment, and training of children who are the victims of abuse or chronic neglect. The Children’s Village records are already processed open to researchers. For further information, call the RBML at 212-854-5153.

The Wiltwyck School for Boys Records
The Wiltwyck School for Boys was established in 1936 in Esopus, NY as a residential treatment center for troubled boys and adolescents from the New York City area. The records consist of 20 boxes of administrative and other records tracing the history from its expansion and move to the town of Yorktown, to its closing in 1981 due to lack of funding. The Wiltwyck School records are processed and open to researchers.

Dan Carpenter Papers
The papers of Dan Carpenter (1909-2004) document Carpenter’s life and career from his boyhood and education in rural Ohio, to his leadership role in the New York City settlement house movement, where he was Executive Director of the Hudson Guild from 1943 until 1973. They offer a unique view of the full career of a professional social worker and influential figure in the Chelsea community, as well as documenting social conditions, demographic change and political activity in New York.

The Dan Carpenter Papers consist of 13 cartons (17.5 linear feet) of correspondence, writings and speeches, photographs, scrapbooks and other memorabilia. Additional archival materials related to the Dan Carpenter Papers are included in the Hudson Guild Records. A finding aid is available in the form of a printed guide located at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library Reference Center. For more information, call 212-854-5153.

Godfrey Dewey Papers
Godfrey Dewey (1890-1976), the son of Melville Dewey, the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System for library organization, was the founder of the Simpler Spelling Association (SSA), and the author of two important statistical studies: English spelling: Roadblock to Reading and The Relative Frequency of English Spelling.

The papers of Godfrey Dewey consist of 78 boxes documenting his personal life, professional and research activities, and correspondence including writings published and unpublished on spelling reform, decimal classification, and shorthand. Publications of the Phonetic Spelling Council are also included. When processed, the papers will be available to researchers. For more information, call the RBML at 212-854-5153.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University owns more than 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, children’s literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. For more information, please see: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/rbml/index.html.

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