History

From left: Thelonious Monk, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, and Teddy Hill Photo credit: William Gottlieb

As it grew from a local sound to a worldwide movement, the jazz scene in Harlem was home to legendary music figures whose influence continues to haunt and ignite the local community.

Alice Kessler-Harris interviewed people who knew the playwright and reviewed the papers of literary agents, friends and Hellman’s husband. Image credit: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University

Lillian Hellman—playwright, memoirist, accused liar, communist, muse to mystery writer Dashiell Hammett—never wanted biographies written about her. “She destroyed personal papers,” says historian Alice Kessler-Harris.

Columbia University announced today that three acclaimed works: a highly original history of the American West, a new perspective on the transformation of ideas from the end of the twentieth century, and a startling new perspective on the Civil Rights movement, will be awarded the 2012 Ban

Alexander Gumby in 1950. Gumby's Autobiography in Scrapbooks, Number 5. (Image credit: Columbia University Libraries)

L.S. Alexander Gumby may be one of the most influential historians of early 20th century African American life in New York—even though he never wrote a traditional volume of history.

When Kenneth T. Jackson began teaching his course, "The History of the City of New York," 37 years ago, he decided to take his students out of the classroom to grasp the full impact of the urban environment. He first thought of daylight walking tours, but the streets were too crowded.

Sylvia Nasar. Image credit: Piotr Redlinkski

As the city, nation and world pause to remember the 10th anniversary of the destruction and heroism that will forever mark lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., Columbia University is commemorating the occasion with a range of programs rooted in its mission as a place of lear

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