Columbia University Archives Launches Online Exhibition Celebrating The Varsity Show

Columbia Varsity Show Poster (March 8-13, 1909)

This exhibition is an expansion of a physical exhibit mounted by The University Archives in 2004 in honor of The Varsity Show's 110th anniversary and includes images of programs, posters, photographs and other printed matter that help relate the history and major highlights of what is recognized as Columbia's oldest performing arts tradition.

Initially conceived as a fundraiser for the University's athletics teams, The Varsity Show had grown into an annual student written and produced musical that lampoons Columbia life. A yearly extravaganza, the Varsity Show has launched many students on their paths to careers in the arts and elicited cheers and blushes from those in the Columbia community who find themselves subject of its satire. Notable Varsity Show alumni include Richard Rodgers (CC' 23), Oscar Hammerstein II (CC' 16), Lorenz Hart (CC '18), Herman Wouk (CC '34) and I.A.L. Diamond (CC '41).

The Varsity Show Records, from which this exhibit was created, document the history of Columbia University's Varsity Show through programs, scores, scripts, photographs, posters, newspaper clippings, and other memorabilia from past productions. A detailed finding aid for the papers, keyword searchable, is available through the Library's web site:

This exhibition is published online by the Libraries Digital Program Division, one of the many E-Resources accessible to the Columbia community and the public.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: