Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The following collections are housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Once a collection has been fully processed, a finding aid, written by the intern who processed the collection, is published online.

Previously Processed


  • Joanne Grant Research Files
    The Joanne Grant Research Files consist of the working materials that Grant, a journalist and activist, collected while writing her 1969 book, Confrontation on Campus: Columbia Pattern for the New Protest.
  • Aleksandr Kazem-Bek Papers
    The papers of Aleksandr Kazem-Bek, a Russian émigré and political activist, are held in the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European Culture.
  • Annie Stein Papers
    Materials related to Annie Stein's career as an activist for integration of the New York City Public Schools can be found in the Annie Stein Papers.

Child Welfare Advocates & Organizations

  • Katharine Lenroot Papers
    Katharine Lenroot is best known as the third Chief of the United States Children's Bureau; materials dating from her service at the bureau (1915-1951) comprise the largest part of the Katharine Lenroot Papers.
  • Emma O. Lundberg Papers
    Emma O. Lundberg, through her nearly forty-year career in social work, researched and wrote about the well-being of children.
  • New York Juvenile Asylum (Children's Village) Records
    The New York Juvenile Asylum (Children's Village) Records provide extensive information about the experience of New York City's poor and orphaned children in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, including their home life and living arrangements, and the fate of children sent West on "orphan trains."

Family Papers

  • Plimpton Family Papers
    The Plimpton Family Papers include correspondence, personal and professional documents, writings and photographs generated by or for George Arthur Plimpton and Frances Taylor Pearsons Plimpton, their son, Francis T.P. Plimpton, and his wife Pauline Ames Plimpton.  Also included are materials dating from seventeenth century ancestors to late-twentieth century descendants.
  • George A. Plimpton Papers
    Collector, trustee, and philanthropist George Arthur Plimpton (1855-1936), made his fortune as a publisher of textbooks and partner of Ginn & Co. The George A. Plimpton Papers contain correspondence, documents, manuscripts, account books, journals, photographs, and printed materials from his personal and professional life.
  • George Perkins, Jr. Papers
    The bulk of the George Perkins, Jr. Papers relates to his work for NATO and for the Palisades Interstate Park Commission.  Also included, however, are photographs and materials pertaining to his service in the U.S. Army during World Wars I and II.

Film, Radio, & Television

  • Louis Dropkin Papers
    Radio, stage, and television scripts from the 1940s and 1950s.
  • William "Billy" Friedberg Papers
    Although Billy Friedberg wrote plays, musicals, variety reviews, short stories, and radio programs he is best remembered as a television comedy writer for "Car 54, Where Are You?", "As Time Goes By", and "The Phil Silvers Show".
  • Ephraim London Papers
    Ephraim London, a United States attorney, practiced entertainment and publishing law from the 1940s to the 1970s, and specialized in issues of censorship. 
  • Pare Lorentz Papers
    Pare Lorentz, documentary film maker and journalist, was described by Franklin Roosevelt as "...my shooter. He photographs America to show what it’s like to our people." Lorentz’s career spanned the New Deal to the Cold War.  Find photographs, correspondence, business records, research notes, and press clippings related to his work in the Pare Lorentz Papers.
  • Andrew Sarris Papers
    Film critic and Columbia University professor Andrew Sarris's column, "Films in Focus," was long a mainstay of The Village Voice. A brief cross-section of Sarris's work can be found in the Andrew Sarris Papers.

Journalism & Publishing

  • Thomas Bonn Research Files
    The Thomas Bonn Research Files form a small collection regarding the founding and early years of Pocket Books, a New York publishing firm.
  • Ernestine Evans Papers
    The Ernestine Evans Papers offer insight into the remarkable career of Evans (1889-1967) a prolific journalist, author, editor and literary agent active in the early-to-mid twentieth century--an era when women interested in entering the working world often faced considerable barriers.
  • The New Leader Records
    The New Leader
    (1924-2006), a social-democratic journal of “news and opinion," printed significant work by prominent intellectuals on an array of subjects, but it devoted its best energies and much of its editorial space to criticizing the Soviet Union.
  • Herbert L. Matthews Papers
    Journalist Herbert L. Matthews' assignments ranged from the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (then Abyssinia) in 1935 and 1936, to his coverage of Cuba and Latin America well into the 1960s, with the Spanish Civil War, World War II and post-war Europe and plenty of controversy in between.
  • Jason Rogers Papers
    Jason Rogers, journalist and publicist, contributed to the field of newspaper advertising.
  • Samuel Roth Papers
    Samuel Roth (1893-1974), publisher, writer and bookseller, was a plaintiff in the 1957 Supreme Court case (Roth v. United States), a landmark case for freedom of speech.  The Samuel Roth Papers include correspondence, drafts, business records and court documents.
  • Saturday Press Records
    Saturday Press, dedicated to publishing the work of women poets over the age of 40.
  • Ben Sonnenberg Papers
    Writer and editor Ben Sonnenberg, Jr. is best known for founding Grand Street (1981-2004), a New York literary quarterly which he edited until his retirement in 1989.
  • Grand Street Publications, Inc Records
    The bulk of the files of this New York literary quarterly consists of annotated manuscripts, proofs and correspondence related to the magazine.  Featured writers include Anne Carson, Arthur Coleman Danto, Jonathan Franzen, Dennis Hopper, Ted Hughes, Norman Mailer, Susan Minot, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushide, Edward Said and David Foster Wallace.
  • Sol Stein Papers
    Author, editor and publisher Sol Stein worked with many literary figures including Elia Kazan and James Baldwin. Stein also was an Executive Director of the American Committee for Cultural Freedom and wrote for Voice of America.

Poets & Writers

  • Jenny S. Bradley Papers
    Correspondence of literary agent Jenny S. Bradley to poet and playwright Susan Sherman.
  • Oscar Hijuelos Papers
    The bulk of the Oscar Hijuelos Papers consists of notes, multiple drafts, and galley proofs for six of Hijuelos' novels, all written and published between 1977 and 2002.
  • Maureen Howard Papers
    Maureen Howard is an American writer, scholar, and literary critic. The Maureen Howard Papers include drafts and publication material for nine novels, as well as correspondence, essays, teaching notes, and personal material.
  • Hettie Jones Papers
    Hettie Jones, poet, author and teacher, is best known for her memoir, How I Became Hettie Jones, which limns the New York City Beat poetry scene of the 1950s and 1960s, and illuminates her marriage to LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka).  The Hettie Jones Papers include drafts, photographs, tapes and correspondence.
  • Barry Miles Papers
    The Barry Miles Papers contain correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and printed materials concerned with Miles' literary activities in London's counterculture of the 1960s. Included are letters and manuscripts from William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, among others.

Opera, Theatre, & Music

  • Clarence J. Bulliet Papers
    The papers of Clarence J. Bulliet (1883-1952) primarily concern his work with Robert Mantell's touring Shakespeare Company and include photographs, theatrical production materials, press releases and correspondence.
  • H. Lawrence Freeman Papers
    The H. Lawrence Freeman Papers, which include original scores, clippings, correspondence and ephemera, document the lives and careers of Harry Lawrence, Carlotta, and Valdo Freeman, a family of African-American performing artists involved in opera, theatre, and music in early-twentieth-century New York City.
  • Louis Napoleon Parker Papers
    Louis Napoleon Parker, an English playwright, translator and producer of historical pageants, was active in the theater from the 1890s through the early 1940s.
  • Vladimir Ussachevsky Papers
    Electronic music composer Vladimir Ussachevsky taught at Columbia University (1947-1980) and was a founding member of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center.

Records of Business & Philanthropy

  • Boehm Foundation Records
    The Boehm Foundation, a philanthropy, primarily funded groups devoted to promoting democracy and civil rights.
  • New York Clearing House Association Records
    The New York Clearing House Association Records comprise 42 ledgers that provide accounts of the daily, and occasionally monthly, exchanges and settlements of New York City banks between 1868-1950.

Scholars & Scholarly Organizations

  • Society of American Historians Records
    The Records of the Society of American Historians, founded in 1939, comprise minutes and organizational records.
  • Philip Butcher Papers
    The Philip Butcher Papers contain the research files and family papers of Philip Butcher, Columbia University graduate and long-time professor at the Morgan State University.
  • John Bates Clark Papers
    John Bates Clark, a United States economist, educator and peace activist.
  • Guglielmo Ferrero Papers
    This addition to the Guglielmo Ferrero Papers includes lessons and lectures, correspondence, and drafts by  Ferrero (1971-1942) an Italian historian, social scientist, writer, and opponent of Fascism.
  • Herbert Gans Papers
    Sociologist and Columbia professor Herbert Gans wrote, extensively, about American urban and suburban communities, and popular culture.  His papers contain research materials, drafts and correspondence related to his writings, teaching and work with the Kerner Commission.
  • Sighle Kennedy Papers
    Sighle Kennedy, a scholar of Samuel Beckett, received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and began her teaching career in the English Department of Hunter College in the early 1970s when women in academia were rare.
  • Karl Polanyi Papers
    Although the bulk of Karl Polanyi's Papers reside at the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy at Concordia University in Montreal, a small collection related to Polanyi's work at Columbia University is  held by Columbia.
  • Professorial Memorial Collection
    The Professorial Memorial Collection contains materials related to the lives and work, and memorials for three Columbia University professors: J. Bartlet Brebner, Stephen Koss, and Garrett Mattingly.
  • Barry Ulanov Papers
    Jazz critic, writer and Barnard professor (1950-2000), Barry Ulanov was a renaissance man. The bulk of the Barry Ulanov Papers are related to his work at Barnard.