5. Philanthropy, Social Services, Human Rights


75.  Memorial to the Columbia College Board of Trustees. Printed document, with signatures in ink, on paper, 26 sections,. New York, 1882-1883. Barnard College, Barnard College Archives

On April 22, 1882, a large public meeting was held to discuss the reform of women's higher education in the City of New York. The venue was the Union League Club on East 39th Street, which had been formed in 1863 to support the Union during the Civil War. Prominent speakers at this meeting included Joseph H. Choate, the Reverend Henry C. Potter, and Sidney Smith, who drew attention to the "empty minds and nimble fingers of women" in arguing that there was a need for reform in women's education. When it was Choate's turn to speak, he stressed that women were entitled to an equal education and called for an end to the "educational privileging" of the male sex. At the conclusion of the event, attendees began signing a petition calling on the Trustees of Columbia College, the leading institution of higher learning in New York, "to extend with as little delay as possible to such properly qualified women as might desire it, the benefit of education at Columbia College by admitting them to lectures and examinations." As more persons signed in the subsequent weeks and months, section after section was glued on to extend the document, until it was 75 feet long and held the signatures of 1,410 persons, including those of then United States President Chester A. Arthur, Samuel P. Avery, Theodore Roosevelt, and Susan B. Anthony.

Presented to the Columbia College Board of Trustees in February of 1883, the giant Memorial served as proof that many progressive citizens of New York favored the idea of post-secondary co-education, a trend that was already well-established elsewhere in the United States. Although the Trustees (with the lone exception of President Frederick A. P. Barnard) voted to reject the Memorial's substance, it did persuade them to immediately form the Select Committee on the Education of Women. In the fall of 1883, the Committee issued a report advocating the improvement of higher education for women. Although still not allowed to attend the lectures that were so essential to a genuine college education, qualified women were offered the Collegiate Course for Women, which permitted them to receive syllabi and to take examinations. When Annie Nathan Meyer enrolled in the Collegiate Course, she found its shortcomings so great that she made it her personal mission to help found an independent, four-year women's college in the City of New York annexed to Columbia, and with precisely the same academic standards. That vision finally was realized in the fall of 1889, when Barnard College opened with the provisional blessing of the Columbia College Board of Trustees.

In the spring of 2003, one hundred twenty years after it was presented to the Columbia College Board of Trustees, the Giant Memorial was returned to the Barnard College Archives by the Northeast Document Conservation Center, following a process of manual restoration that took the better part of a year, and was made possible by a generous gift from the Class of 1942. Originally rolled on a wooden dowel, too fragile to be examined for many years, the 75-foot document was meticulously repaired, flattened, photographed, and cut into twenty-six sections which were individually encapsulated in Mylar.

76.  Eastman Johnson (1824-1906).  Portrait of Fredrick A. P. Barnard, 1886. Black and white chalk on prepared gray paper, mounted on linen, signed, (61 x 45.1) Office of Art Properties

Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard (1809-1889) succeeded Charles King as president of Columbia College, now Columbia University. During his long administration (1864-89), Columbia grew from a small undergraduate college of 150 students into one of the nation's great universities, with an enrollment of 1,500. He was instrumental in expanding the curriculum, adding departments, and fostering the development of the School of Mines (founded 1864; now part of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science). He extended the elective system and advocated equal educational privileges for men and women. Barnard College, the woman's undergraduate unit of Columbia, was named for him, a staunch advocate of higher education for women. Renowned for his sophisticated portrayals of American rural life, Eastman Johnson was also one of the most cosmopolitan painters of his era. During the 1880s, he turned almost exclusively to portraiture. This chalk drawing is probably a study for the large oil portrait that hangs in Low Memorial Library.

77.  Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) Carnegie Corporation of New York.  Records of College Donations, New York. Bound manuscript volume, 1901-30, 1886. RBML, Carnegie Corporation of New York Archives

This volume contains the records of donations made by Andrew Carnegie and subsequently the Carnegie Corporation of New York to colleges and universities for their endowments, libraries, scholarships, new buildings, programs and research.

Gift of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1990

78.  Carnegie Family Convention, Pittsburgh. Black and white photograph (25.4 x 30.5 cm.) Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 1910. RBML, Carnegie Corporation of New York Archives

This photograph shows the Carnegie family in Pittsburgh on the return of Mr. Andrew Carnegie (front row, third from the left) and Mrs. Whitfield Carnegie (front row, second from the left) from California en route to New York. Pittsburgh was the first place of residence in the United States for the 12-year-old Andrew, when he arrived from Scotland along with his parents Margaret and William, and his younger brother Tom. The family chose Pittsburgh, since Margaret Carnegie's sisters were already living in the area. Pittsburgh witnessed Carnegie's meteoric rise from bobbin boy on a cotton mill to a telegraph operator, then to a railroad manager, then to a steel industry titan. Over the years many other members of the extended family settled there as well. Andrew Carnegie moved to New York City in 1867, but Pittsburgh has always remained the site of his steel factories, and the recipient of many Carnegie benefactions.

Gift of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1990

79.  Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919).  Typed letter, signed, to Robert A. Franks. Skibo Castle, Scotland, September 1, 1910. RBML, Carnegie Corporation of New York Archives

One of several hundred letters from Andrew Carnegie to his close friend and financial agent, Robert A. Franks authorizing payments for various charity causes. Franks was the president and director of the Carnegie Home Trust Company (the trust to invest, keep, and distribute the money for Carnegie's pensions and philanthropic activities) and served as a trustee, an executive committee member and a treasurer for both the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching and the Carnegie Corporation of New York until his death in 1935; for some years he was also treasurer of the Teachers Insurance Annuity Association of America. The letter uses simplified spelling, championed by the New York State Librarian Melvil Dewey and much favored by Carnegie. This spelling was used for all official documents in early days of the Carnegie philanthropic foundations.

Gift of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 1990

80.  Sigmund Freud (1859-1939).  Contract for "The Psycho-Analytic Problem of the War". Typescript, signed. Vienna, October 10, 1921. RBML, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Records

This contract between Sigmund Freud and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is signed by Freud and James S. Shotwell, the General Editor of the CEIP's seminal 150-volume series Economic and Social History of the World War. In December 1921, Freud, informing Shotwell that he "can't make any headway," asked to be released from the contract. In 1924, as the series was brought to a conclusion, Shotwell became director of the CEIP Division of Economics and History.

Gift of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1953-54

81.  Lillian D. Wald (1867-1940).  The House on Henry Street. Autograph manuscript, ca. 1915. RBML, Lillian Wald Papers

One of the most influential and respected social reformers of the 20th century, Lillian D. Wald (1867-1940) founded the Henry Street Settlement in 1893. She focused her energy on improving the health and hygiene of immigrant women on the impoverished Lower East Side. Wald devoted herself to the community full-time and within a decade the Settlement included a team of twenty nurses offering an astonishing array of innovative and effective social, recreational and educational services.

Wald pioneered public health nursing by placing nurses in public schools and with corporations. She founded the National Organization for Public Health Nursing and Columbia University's School of Nursing, becoming an international crusader for human rights and a labor activist. The Lillian Wald Papers focus on the administration of the Henry Street Settlement that she directed until 1932, and her involvement in numerous philanthropic and progressive causes. Her office files trace the founding and growth of the Settlement from 1895-1933. Other papers detail her activities on behalf of child welfare, civil liberties, immigration, public health, unemployment, the peace movement during World War I. The House on Henry Street • with Illustrations from Etchings and Drawings by Abraham Phillips and from Photographs was published by Henry Holt and Company in 1915. The book became a classic, influencing generations of nursing, sociology, and social welfare students.

Gift of the Visiting Nurse Service, through Mrs. Eva M. Reese, 1967

82.  Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942).  Photograph of slum children, ca. 1918-19. Photograph #1900. RBML, Community Service Society Papers

Jessie Tarbox was born in 1870 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Her family's comfortable lifestyle allowed her, at the age of 14, to attend the prestigious Collegiate Institute of Ontario. Her first photographs were of the children in her classroom in 1888. By 1900 The County Reformer newspaper published Jessie's photographs of a carnival, making her the world's first female photojournalist. Her superb work led her to become one of the official photographers of the St. Louis World's Fair. In 1905 she moved to New York City where with her husband, Alfred Beals, she ran a successful studio until her death in 1942.

During this time, she took many photographs for the Community Service Society, an organization that, through its predecessor organizations, the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor and the Charity Organization Society, has tackled the problem of urban poverty for 150 years. They were responsible for the first public baths in New York City in 1852, the first model tenement in 1855, the first shelter for homeless men in 1893, a prototype of the free lunch program in 1913, and the ground-work for New York State's Old Age Assistance Act of 1930. The Rare Book and Manuscript Library was designated as the repository of the CSS papers in 1979, comprising to date some 300 linear feet of material, including hundreds of photographs.

Gift of the Community Service Society, 1979 and ongoing

83.  Varian Fry (1907-1967).  Surrender on Demand. Typed manuscript, with autograph corrections, ca. 1942-45. RBML, Varian Fry Papers

Surrender on Demand, published just before VE Day in 1945, describes the dramatic story of the underground organizations set up by Americans in France to rescue anti-Nazis from the Gestapo. Fry, a 32-year old Harvard-educated classicist and editor from New York City, helped save 4,000 endangered refugees who were caught in the Vichy French area during World War II, including Max Ernst, Marc Chagall, Hannah Arendt, Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Franz Werfel, and Alma Mahler. In 1991, 24 years after his death in obscurity, Fry received his first official recognition from a United States agency, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. In 1996, he was named as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Heros and Martyrs Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem.

Gift of Annette Riley Fry, 1969 and 1974

84.  John Howard Griffin (1920-1980).  Journal. Typescript, with interspersed photographs, 1950 - 1980. RBML, John Howard Griffin Papers

This massive Journal runs to 2,762 pages of single-spaced typed pages and covers the years 1950 - 1980. This page count does not include ten autograph notebooks kept while traveling. Griffin kept a journal from the age of sixteen until twenty-one. When France was about to fall to the Germans, he gave the journals to a schoolmate for safe-keeping. "Years later when I returned to France [in 1976], I retrieved the journal which had been buried on my friend's father's farm during the war." As he read what he had written so long ago, Griffin became saddened by the discovery that it was filled with petty reflection on music, food, and literature and practically nothing on the World War. Griffin burned this journal.

John Mason Brown, the theatre critic, encouraged Griffin to write. The result was his first novel, The Devil Rides Outside, written in 1949. Griffin began his mature Journal in December of 1950, the third year of his blindness. He would regain his sight seven years later. When he was not working on novels or short stories, he wrote his Journal, which became a seedbed for most of the work he would publish later. Its pages are full of fragments and drafts of stories and novels; essays and articles; meditations on human rights, the Civil Rights Movement, and major events such as the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ethics, religion and philosophy; responses to the music he listened to constantly; discussions of cooking, farming and family relationships; insights into the realities of blindness and how the condition is wrongly perceived by the sighted; speculations on psychology, sociology, anthropology and the arts in relation to the diminishment of culture in America.

Purchased with the John Howard Griffin Papers, 1995

85.  Hiroshima Project. Typescript, with photographs. RBML, Ivan Morris Papers

Ivan Ira Esme Morris was a member of the Columbia faculty from 1960 until his death in 1976, serving as chairman of the East Asian Department from 1966-69. His field was Japanese literature and culture, but he was also very active in the human rights organization Amnesty International. A member of the group's executive committee in London, he co-founded an American section and served as section chairman from 1973-76. Morris's "Hiroshima Project" recorded the personal accounts of survivors of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb blast. Included with each account is a photograph of the person, bringing to life their deeply personal struggles to live with the pain of their experiences. These accounts also contain anecdotal documentation of the medical problems suffered by each interviewee as a result of the blast, as well as recording the exact distance that each person was from its epicenter.

Gift of Annalita M. Alexander, 1979 and ongoing

86.  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963).  Executive Order, Equal Opportunity in Housing. Typescript, signed, with pen, November 27, 1962. RBML, Whitney M. Young, Jr. Papers

John F. Kennedy had criticized President Dwight Eisenhower during the election campaign of 1960 for not eliminating discrimination in housing "by the stroke of a pen." On November 27, 1962, President Kennedy issued this executive order prohibiting racial and religious discrimination in housing built or purchased with Federal aid, and set up the President's Committee on Equal Opportunity in Housing. He then sent this copy, with a pen used in the signing ceremony, to Whitney M. Young, Jr. (1921-1971), Executive Director of the National Urban League from 1961 until his tragic death in 1971. Young's papers, including correspondence, speeches, reports, testimony, press releases, and the texts of his radio broadcasts "To Be Equal," document his leadership.

Gift of Mrs. Margaret Young in memory of Whitney M. Young, Jr. (LL.D 1971), 1975

87a.  Presidential Medal of Freedom and Certificate signed by the President, Awarded to Herbert H. Lehman (posthumously) by President Lyndon B. Johnson, December 6, 1963. Silver miniature medal, ribbon bar, and silver lapel emblem, in walnut presentation case lined with silver gray plush and white satin, with silver disk containing the arms of the President of the United States inset in the cover of the case. Certificate signed by the President, with citation formally detailing the achievements for which the President is recognizing the individual. RBML, Lehman Papers

87b.  Photograph of President Johnson presenting the Medal of Freedom to Edith Altschul Lehman (Mrs. Herbert H. Lehman). Washington, D.C., December 6, 1963. RBML, Lehman Papers

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. Among all American honors, it ranks second to only the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award. The medal was established by President Truman in 1945 to recognize notable service in the war. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy reintroduced it as an honor for distinguished civilian service in peacetime. While the medal may be awarded for singular acts of importance, it is customarily given only for a lifetime of service or at the conclusion of a distinguished career. With this criterion, it was altogether fitting that the Medal of Freedom was presented to Herbert H. Lehman in 1964 for 35 years of service as both Lieutenant Governor (1928-1932) and Governor of New York (1933-1942), Director-General of the United Nations Rehabilitation and Relief Administration (1943-1946), and U.S. Senator from New York (1949-1956).

This particular award ceremony was significant in that it marked the reintroduction of the medal as a civil honor, but the occasion was also saddened by the absence of two men: John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated during the previous November and Herbert Lehman himself, whose death in New York occurred just minutes before his departure to Washington to receive the award. Lehman's wife of over fifty years, Edith Altschul Lehman, journeyed to the White House and accepted the medal on her late husband's behalf.

As the medal was presented to Mrs. Lehman, President Johnson read, "The President of the United States of America awards this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Herbert H. Lehman, citizen and statesman. He has used wisdom and compassion as the tools of government and he has made politics the highest form of public service." Mrs. Lehman accepted the award and replied, "I can't tell you how honored I feel to accept this medal. I want to also say that the knowledge that this medal was coming to him added a great deal to his last hours of life." Among Lehman's fellow award recipients that year were: Thornton Wilder, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, E. B. White, George Meany, Marian Anderson, Edward Steichen, Felix Frankfurter and the late President John F. Kennedy.

Gift of the Estate of Edith Altschul Lehman, 1976

88.  Archdiocese of Sao Paulo.  Projeto A "Brasil: Nunca Mais". Sao Paulo: Arquidiocese de Sao Paulo, 1985. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

"Nunca mais – Never again." On April 1, 1964 a military coup in Brazil established a regime which made political prisoners of dissenting citizens and people who belonged to "clandestine organizations." During the time Brazil remained under military control, from 1964 until March 1985, political prisoners were detained by government security agents. Transcripts from 707 trials conducted by the military indicate that physical and psychological torture was practiced on prisoners in order to coerce confession. Lawyers for the defendants, working with the Roman Catholic Church, photocopied over 1,000,000 pages of these records to analyze the trials and to discover the fate of persons who had disappeared. The results of their investigations were published in "Projeto A" of which this is the volume documenting torture.

Acquired, 1987

89.  Antonio Hernandez Palacios (1921-2000) and Will Eisner (b. 1917).  Les Droits de l'homme. Brussels: Magic Strip, 1989. Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, Special Collections

From Spain, France, Italy, Uruguay, Argentina and the U.S., six artists contributed stories to illustrate what can happen in a world that disregards fundamental human rights embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Scenes of these sophisticated cartoons are situated in first-century Jerusalem, twentieth-century Paris, and sixteenth-century Italy. Of the 22 articles in the Declaration, the artists chose to portray the right to life, liberty and security of person; freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman treatment; the right to a hearing by an impartial tribunal; freedom of movement within one's country and the right to return to one's country; freedom of opinion and expression; the right of participation in government and the right of access to public services. This episode by Will Eisner takes place in an imaginary country where citizens learn the results of failure to participate in elections.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. At their website,, the Declaration is available in 300 languages.

Gift of Kent McKeever, 1989