History

Black and white photo of William Donovan in his service uniform sitting at a writing desk, writing a note.

William Donovan created and led the first centralized spy agency in the U.S. Columbia would play a pivotal role in his career. Image Courtesy of the CIA

William Donovan created and led the first centralized spy agency in the U.S. Columbia would play a pivotal role in his career.
An African American woman in 1943 with a red bandana on her head uses a hand drill to add screws to a metal sheet.

“Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, a woman is working on a ‘Vengeance’ dive bomber,” Nashville, Tennessee, 1943.

One of the founders of the field of women’s history, Alice Kessler-Harris earned her Ph.D. in the late 1960s and then realized that history books had omitted the entire gender from their pages.

Soldiers exercise on Columbia's Morningside Campus
One hundred springs ago, when the United States entered the Great War, Columbia University had already begun preparing. Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler, a staunch anti-interventionist, was also deeply committed to national service.
Tongan cultural artifacts

Among the items in the new exhibit case are a feathered belt, bowl and headdress that are representative of Tongan culture. The bowl is sitting on a decorated Fijian masi, a barkcloth that is used in furnishings and clothing. Photo by AMNH/D. Finnin

The American Museum of Natural History and Columbia’s Museum Anthropology graduate program have collaborated for the first time on an exhibit case researched and designed by the students.
Natasha Lightfoot

The personal and the professional came together for Natasha Lightfoot in her first book, Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation.

When Henry Moore’s bronze Reclining Figure was installed in front of Havemeyer Hall on December 14, Columbia became the second university in the United States, after MIT, to have two Moore sculptures on permanent display.

John Reddick

Photo courtesy of Apollo Theater Education Program

John Reddick is one of 18 northern Manhattan residents selected by the University to pursue research projects and develop their skills at Columbia.
National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History & Culture - Photo by Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC

To write the book about the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, Mabel O.

W. Somerset Maugham
W. Somerset Maugham, whose well-known works include Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence and The Razor’s Edge, visited Columbia in November 1950 at the invitation of philosophy professor Irwin Edman (CC'1917, Ph.D.’20), a longtime friend.
Karl Jacoby Borderland History Columbia Professor
The unusual life story is told in a new book titled "The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire" by Karl Jacoby, a professor in the history department and the Center for Study of Ethnicity and Race. Ellis “learned how to be what people wanted him to be, and how to be sure that people would see what they want to see."

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