Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Teaching Race Science at the College of Physicians and Surgeons

This exhibit on Columbia University and slavery explores the intersection of science and racism as it was embedded in the academic discourse at Columbia University and the College of Physicians & Surgeons (P&S). In the nineteenth century, racist scientific beliefs were researched, written about, and taught in the classrooms at Columbia, as commonplace medical knowledge. This exhibit traces the changing contexts in which racial science was taught and debated, highlighting three distinct periods. This exhibit is based on lecture notes of P&S students in 1812-13 and 1829-32, and textbooks used in the late 1890s and early 1900s. 

Runaway Slave Advertisements Submitted by Columbia College Students and Affiliates

From the founding King's College Class of 1760 to Class of 1805, 28 King's College and Columbia students and affiliates submitted 43 advertisements advertising fugitives or selling enslaved human beings. 


Livingston Brothels: Columbia and Profits from Black Bodies

This digital project demonstrates the ways in which the Livingston family, and by extension Columbia, profited off of the bodies of women, especially women of color through brothel ownership. It begins with a timeline of the Livingston family's ownership of brothels throughout New York City from 1820-1859. Through details through census records, assault reports, and the city directory it then goes on to detail the erased black bodies that lived in these brothels and the ways in which these brothels constituted sites of violence for the women and men living there.



A Columbia Family: The Codwise Family

So often, the history of slavery is thought to exist peripheral to the history of America, its universities, and its families. And when slavery is discussed in terms of its being central to these histories, such a discussion is usually limited to those Americans who lived south of the Mason-Dixon line. And even when this is not the case - when slavery is explored not as a sectional phenomena, but one that spanned and linked both North and South - rarely does its mention go beyond the territorial boundaries of the United States. The Codwise family, with members in New York, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, and St. Croix, offers up incontrovertible proof that Columbia’s connection to slavery must be understood in both a transectional and transnational context.