The following is only a selection of websites and documents available online which can help you learn about the history of the University. You can find the original paper copies and additional resources by searching in the library's online catalog CLIO.
Columbia Spectator Digital Archive
This online resource is the result of a partnership between the Spectator and Columbia University Libraries, and funded jointly by the Libraries and through generous gifts from Spectator alumni and friends, especially members of the class of 1958. You can now search issues published from 1877 to 2015. Whenever possible pages were scanned from original paper copies and digitized using state of the art technology that provides full-page, searchable reproductions of articles, photographs, and advertisements. For articles published more recently, please search the main Spectator website.
There are a few issues missing from the Spectator Digital Archive. Here is a list of the issues on our Wish List. If you have any of these past issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blue and White Archive
This site provides access to digitized copies of Columbia University's undergraduate magazine The Blue and White from 1998 to 2013. The University Archives has a mostly completely collection from 1890 to 1893, unfortunately in fragile condition. These older issues have now been digitized for preservation.
Publication resumed in 1998 and those paper issues are available at the University Archives. To see content from current issues please visit the magazine's main website.
Jester of Columbia
The Columbia Jester was the student humor magazine established in 1901. The publication was printed mostly continuously through 1997 and was revived in 2001 and again in 2005. The March 1912 issue was digitized as part of the Seymour B. Durst Old York Library collection at the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. A mostly complete run of the paper copies (wtih links to digital issues) is available at the University Archives.
Columbia Political Review
The Columbia Political Review is an undergraduate-run, political magazine at Columbia University. The magazine’s mission is to provide an open forum for long-form political thought on issues across the ideological spectrum, both domestic and international. CPR publishes online content on a near-daily basis and produces a bi-semesterly print magazine featuring select articles. CPR is committed to representing a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and ideologies in order to offer fresh takes on contemporary policy debates. CPR keeps an archive of past issues from 2012 to the present. Paper copies, starting from 2001, are available at the University Archives.
The Federalist Paper aka The Fed
Started in 1986 by Neil M. Gorsuch, Andrew Levy and P.T. Waters, this student newspaper was originally intended to address political issues. Since then the Fed has evolved and it is now better known for its humor and satirical take on the news of the day. The Fed keeps an archive of some past issues on their website and a selected number of issues from 1986 to 1988 are available here. Paper copies are available at the University Archives.
Yearbooks are a good source of information about former students, student activities, and the composition of the student body over the years. The University Archives collections include an extensive run of yearbooks from Columbia College (The Columbiad and later The Columbian) dating from 1869 to the present, as well as a representation of yearbooks from other schools of the University and a complete run of those for the Midshipmen's School (Side Boy), which was on campus during World War II. Incomplete runs of yearbooks for the School of Engineering and Applied Science (The Miner and later The Engineer), the Graduate School of Journalism, and the Graduate School of Business are also available. You can use the Yearbook, Facebooks and Class Books finding aid to see the University Archives holdings and to request volumes for use in the reading room.
Columbia University Record Archive
Beginning as the University Record (September 1973-May 1975) and continuing to this day as the Columbia University Record (July 1975-present), this important university-wide publication, now scanned and fully searchable, is an incredibly rich resource of past Columbia activities, events, scientific research, trustee and faculty appointments, awards and honors, libraries news, departmental achievements, budget and financial reporting, faculty and staff updates, as well as containing informative profiles of campus personalities from 1973 to June 2016.
Columbia College Today (CCT)
Thanks to a gift from the board of the Columbia University Club Foundation, CCT and the Columbia University Libraries have digitized back issues of this Columbia College alumni magazine fom its inception in 1954 through and including Summer 2016. The issues have been indexed so you can easily search for articles, features and alumni news or just browse through the individual issues. Paper copies of this publication up to the most current issue are available at the University Archives.
Columbia University Quarterly
The Columbia University Quarterly was published by the Alumni Federation of Columbia University from 1898 to 1941. Publication was suspended from 1920 to 1929 and resumed from 1930 to 1941. The Quarterly’s predecessor, the Columbia University Bulletin (1890-1898) is also available online. Paper copies are available at the University Archives.
Columbia Alumni News
Published by the Alumni Federation of Columbia University, this alumni magazine was published from 1909 to 1957. More informal than the CU Quarterly, CAN included class notes, obituaries, information about class reunions and the latest news about campus, from sports to academics. Issues up to 1948 are available online. Paper copies for the whole run are available at the University Archives
Columbia University Forum
The Columbia University Forum was a quarterly journal for alumni started in 1957. In fall 1968 it was renamed Columbia Forum. The original series of volumes ended in 1970. A "new series" of volumes was started in winter 1971 and ended in spring 1975. As a replacement for the Columbia Alumni News, it was originally created to provide a forum for the thoughts and opinions of people who were in some way connected to Columbia, covering the entire range of the arts and sciences. The publication was sent free-of-charge to alumni; non-alumni could subscribe or buy single copies with the proceeds going to the Columbia General Scholarship Fund. Most issues are available online at the links noted above. Paper copies are available at the University Archives. The RBML also holds a collection of Columbia Forum records.
Columbia Library Columns
Columbia Library Columns was published from 1951 to 1997. Over the years contributors included faculty, University administrators, writers, historians and collectors, as well as Columbia librarians. Articles focused on individual collections, special acquisitions, literary topics and issues relating to the growth of Columbia's libraries and special collections generally. Paper copies are available at the University Archives. The digitized issues are also available via Simply-E (CU affiliates only, mobile device-friendly).