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   Barry Ulanov Papers, 1932-2003 [Bulk Dates: 1940-1993].

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Barry Ulanov Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information


This collection contains the papers of Barry Ulanov, a jazz critic and professor of English at Barnard College. The bulk of the papers relates to Ulanov’s Barnard years (1950-2000). Most of the material consists of book manuscripts, research files, course materials, and correspondence.

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1484
Bib ID:5644162 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Ulanov, Barry
Title:Barry Ulanov Papers, 1932-2003 [Bulk Dates: 1940-1993].
Physical description:18.5 linear ft. (14 record cartons, 1 document box 1 flat box)
Language(s): Material is in English, French, Latin, German, Russian, Dutch
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. Files containing student grades are restricted.  More information »



This collection is arranged in three series:

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Scope and Content

The collection contains professional and research files, manuscripts, and documents of Barry Ulanov. Subject files include mostly pamphlets, flyers, clippings and copies of newspapers and journals relating to Ulanov's research interests, both for specific book projects as well as more generally. Contained, too, are extensive materials related to Ulanov's Barnard courses, such as syllabi, reading lists, correspondence, and relevant course readings. These subject files are comprised of both those files created by Ulanov, and those created during processing. The papers also include many of Ulanov's original manuscripts and translations, particularly his works on history of religion and Jungian psychology, as well as manuscripts sent to him by colleagues and associates, such as Lionel Trilling. Also included within the collection is Ulanov's correspondence, primarily relating to his speaking and lecturing as part of his professorship at Barnard College. There is also a large amount of correspondence which reflects his extensive work for the Catholic Church, as both a lecturer for Church organizations and as president of the Catholic Renaissance Society.

Series I: Subject Files, 1932-2000

This series contains Ulanov’s research and personal subject files. The files comprise, primarily, clippings and copies of journals and newspapers, some of which have handwritten marginal notes, underlining, and edits. Also included are Ulanov’s personal documents, as well as correspondence and files relating to his family. The Barnard files contain papers, correspondence, letters of recommendation, and memos relating to Ulanov’s professorship at that College. Note that several of the Barnard files contain restricted items. As there was no discernable order, these files were arranged alphabetically during processing.

Subseries I.1: Subject Files Arranged by Ulanov, 1932-1990s

This first and largest subseries consists of subject files created by Barry Ulanov, and contains personal, professional, and research related material. The majority of the folders were labeled by Ulanov, and these names were retained. A few unlabeled folders were titled during processing; the titles of these folders are in brackets.

Subseries I.2: Subject Files, 1940s-2000

This additional subseries of subject files contains material from the Ulanov collection, arranged by subject, and created during processing. The material dates mostly from the 1950s to the 1990s and includes personal papers and contracts, handwritten notes, photographs, and pamphlets and published material relating to lectures and public appearances. This series contains material related to Ulanov’s work on the Roosevelt Field Shopping Center, Family Weekly, and the Catholic Renaissance Society.

Series II: Writings, 1955-1993

The writings contained within the collection are both those of Ulanov and those written by others. Ulanov’s writings include transcripts/working notes for speeches and addresses, articles, and book manuscripts from the 1950s to the 1990s. Contracts, publisher correspondence, and other material related to writings have been filed with the appropriate manuscript. The material is arranged alphabetically.

Subseries II.1: Writings and Translations by Barry Ulanov, 1950s-1990s

This subseries contains manuscripts of works by Ulanov: books (monographs and anthologies), translations, articles, and speeches from the 1950s through the 1990s. Most of the drafts have handwritten notes. Some folders also contain correspondence with publishers or co-editors related to that particular work. This subseries includes research notes for unpublished books, such as Man… from the Beginning and Analysis of Prose, as well as his PhD dissertation from 1955. Several folders contain printed copies of published material.

Subseries II.2: Writings by Others, 1950s-1990s

This subseries contains manuscripts sent to Ulanov by colleagues and friends. Some are translations are from French into English. There are several articles and books on religion. An undated article by Lionel Trilling and a translation of a play by Paul Claudel are included.

Series III: Correspondence, 1940s-2000

Contained here is correspondence to and from Barry Ulanov between the 1940s and the 2000s. The correspondence within the collection consists primarily of letters regarding Ulanov’s professional activity, particularly as a lecturer and speaker, as well as his work within the Catholic Church. Of particular interest is a handwritten letter to Ulanov from Charles Mingus. The correspondence is arranged chronologically by decade.

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Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Files containing student grades are restricted.

Restrictions on Use

In Box 1, folders 20 and 30 are restricted until 2068 and 2059 respectively; in Box 2, folders 20 and 21 are restricted until 2068.

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Barry Ulanov Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Selected Related Material-- At Columbia

Ann Bedford Ulanov Papers Burke Theological Library, Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship Project

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 2009 by: J.C. Cloutier (Columbia 2013), Daniella da Silva (Columbia 2013,) Anne Diebel (Columbia 2012), Rob Fucci (Columbia 2013), April Holm (Columbia 2010), Casiana Ionita (Columbia 2013), Darragh Martin (Columbia 2012), Yuki Oda (Columbia 2012), Jude Webre (Columbia 2013), Aaron Winslow (Columbia 2014), Mike Woodsworth (Columbia 2012).

Finding aid written in 2009 by: J.C. Cloutier (Columbia 2013), Daniella da Silva (Columbia 2013,) Anne Diebel (Columbia 2012), Rob Fucci (Columbia 2013), April Holm (Columbia 2010), Casiana Ionita (Columbia 2013), Darragh Martin (Columbia 2012), Yuki Oda (Columbia 2012), Jude Webre (Columbia 2013), Aaron Winslow (Columbia 2014), Mike Woodsworth (Columbia 2012).

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion August 22, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2009-08-22 xml document instance created by Carrie Hintz

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Barnard College.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bernanos, Georges 1888-1948.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Catholic church and philosophy--United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Imagination--religious aspects--Christianity.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Literature--20th century--History and criticism.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Poetry--History and criticism--Theory, etc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Psychoanalysis and religion.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theology in literature.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theology, Doctrinal--History--Study and teaching.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theology--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Theology--Study and teaching--Catholic Church.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ulanov, Barry.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Barry Ulanov (1918-2000) was a jazz critic, professor of English at Barnard College, and prolific writer. He wrote, edited, or translated nearly fifty books and over a thousand articles on a wide range of subjects. His interests included music, modern art, psychology, history, religion, and literature.

Ulanov was born in Manhattan on April 10, 1918 and attended Columbia University, where he took advantage of his proximity to Harlem to immerse himself in jazz music and culture. After receiving his BA in 1939, Ulanov worked as a jazz writer and edited the journal Metronome from 1943 to 1955. He shifted the focus of the journal to cover more jazz and be-bop music, particularly black musicians who had previously received little notice in the journal. From 1955 to 1958 he wrote for Down Beat and published several biographies of jazz musicians in the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1939, Ulanov married Joan Bel Geddes, who had been a student at Barnard during his years at Columbia. This marriage lasted 29 years and produced three children: Anne, Nicholas, and Katherine. In 1968, Ulanov married Ann Belford, with whom he later had a son, Alexander. Ann Belford Ulanov taught at Union Theological Seminary as Professor of Psychiatry and Religion.

Ulanov's interest in the connection between modern art and contemporary American culture led him to pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature at Columbia University, which he completed in 1955. In the meantime, he also became involved in architectural projects in Denver, Colorado and Long Island. He taught English Literature at Princeton University from 1951 to 1953, and then, from 1953 to 1988, at Barnard College. He was an adjunct professor of Religion at Columbia University and, after retiring from Barnard, he taught at Union Theological Seminary in the Department of Psychiatry and Religion. Ulanov lectured worldwide on a range of topics.

Ulanov converted to Catholicism in 1951 and became involved with the Catholic Renaissance Society. He was an active member of the Vatican II Council, where he advocated for the use of vernacular in the mass and amplified music in church. Ulanov lectured at a number of Catholic colleges and spoke at the International Eucharistic Congress with Pope John XXIII in Bombay in 1964. He wrote and edited numerous books and articles on religion and culture.

In his last twenty years, Ulanov wrote extensively on religion and psychology, publishing over ten books with his second wife, Ann Belford Ulanov. Until his death, they co-edited the Journal of Religion and Health. Ulanov died on April 30, 2000, at the age of 82.

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