Columbia Library columns (v.44(1995))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.44,no.2(1995:Autumn): Page [26]  

On May 6, 1895, at the regular Trustees meeting President Seth Low made the
following announcement:

It was afax'orite saying with my father, the late Abiel Abbot Low, that "commerce
is the handmaid of civilization. "As a memorial of him, a merchant who taught
his son to value the things for xvhich Columbia College stands, I propose, if the
Trustees consent, to cooperate with the College in the construction of the new
University Library ...I loill undertake to give to the College ...a sum equal lo the
cost of the Library, up to but not exceeding $1,000,000...

Newspaper accounts of the day called Columbia lucky and the gift noble, mag¬
nificent, princely. Seth Low, then age forty-five, was commended and thanked
for the wisdom of his choice no less heartily than for his munificence.
We pause to think about the ideals brought forth, maintained, cherished, and
given to generations from this place; to reflect on the technical skill, crafts¬
manship, artistry, and labor which in two short years, 1895-97, brought forth
the first buildings on the Morningside Heights campus. A decade of centenni¬
al celebrations has already begun.
  v.44,no.2(1995:Autumn): Page [26]