University Documents

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.

The Matricula

King's College King's College, July 17, 1754.

Charters and Minutes


Statutes, revised and passed by the Board of Trustees for the following years:

King's College engraving with palm tree. King's College engraving with palm tree.

Trustee Resolutions


Annual Reports

The Annual Reports of the President to the Trustees offer a yearly "state of the University" from 1865 to 1948. The tradition of a printed "Annual report of the President of Columbia College made to the Board of Trustees" started with University President Frederick A.P. Barnard. The reports include current events, facts and figures of students enrolled and degrees conferred, and as well as trends in each school. In addition to the President's remarks, the later reports include the Treasurer's financial reports and also each Dean reports to the President on the previous academic year at their school or division (Columbia College, Law, Business, Journalism, Barnard, Teachers College, etc.) as well as reports from the Librarian, the Registrar, the Secretary and other senior administrators. You can find access to the paper copies and links to the online reports from 1865-1948 in the President's Annual Reports finding aid


Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Columbia College, also known as the Handbook of Information and sometimes, the Catalogue and General Announcement, is essentially a "snapshot" of the University in a given year. These publications usually include the list of trustees, officers of instruction, and administrators. They also contain information about the curriculum in the various programs, detail admission policies and requirements, explain degree and certificate programs, note tuition fees, list prizes and scholarships, provide a copy of the academic calendar, and describe general regulations of the university.  In the handbooks from the 19th century you can often find lists of students and sometimes alumni. From 1893-94 to 1918-19 one can find regularized registers of students listed for each school.  In addition to the register of students, the Catalogue also includes a list of the degrees conferred at the last commencement. For each year starting in 1893-94, the staff and student directories can found at the back of each volume. Full names of students appear beginning in the 1919-20 volume. Between 1893-94 and 1918-19 the student directories only list the first initial and the full last name since full name information is found in the school specific student registers. Paper copies are available at the University Archives.

* Between 1878 and 1890, Columbia published two separate volumes: one was a Handbook of Information as to the Course of Instruction (course catalogue) and the other was an Annual Register (trustee, faculty and student directory). The volumes were merged again for 1891-1892 Hanbook of information, which included the Register of Students for 1890-1891.