Archival Collections
Columbia University Archives

Central Files, 1890-1984 

Columbia University. Office of the President
Phys. Desc: 
927 cubic ft. (927 record cartons)
Call Number: 
Columbia University Archives
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Online information

Biographical Note

The records that eventually became Central Files originated in the Office of the President in the 1890's. Central Files grew out of the information needs, working relationships, and activities of the president of the University as well as the secretary, provost, and other administrators.

Scope and Contents

Central Files contains chiefly correspondence sent and received between Columbia University administrators and other University officers, faculty, and trustees, as well as correspondence sent and received between University administrators and individuals and organizations from outside the University. In most cases, incoming correspondence and copies of replies were filed under the name of the individual or organization corresponding with University administrators. Other records in the files include: reports, budgets, proposals, minutes and agenda, legal documents, personnel records, invitations, pamphlets, publications, floor plans, petitions, fliers, press releases, and speeches. Records represent the tenure of presidents Seth Low (1890-1901), Nicholas Murray Butler (1902-1945), acting president Frank D. Fackenthal (1945-1948), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1948-1953), Grayson Kirk (1953-1968), Andrew Cordier (1968-1970), and William J. McGill (1970-1980).The first few years of the tenure of President Michael I. Sovern (1980-1993) are also represented.