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Columbia-Barnard Course Guides

Identifier: BC11-30

Collection Scope and Content Summary

This collection contains published course guides from 1970-1994.

The 1977 Columbia-Barnard Course Guide includes a detailed history of the Course Guide.


  • Creation: 1970-1994



This collection has no restrictions.

Publication Rights

Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Barnard College Archives. The Barnard College Archives approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Reproduction Restrictions

Photocopies or scans may be made for research purposes.

Historical Background

The Columbia-Barnard Course Guide was founded in 1963, in order to provide students with a clearer understanding of which classes to take. The Course Guide was published by students, originally by Columbia’s Ted Kremer Society and, beginning in 1971, by an independent organization. Early issues consisted of informal stapled, mimeographed booklets and were referred to as the Ted Kremer Society’s Course Evaluation Booklets. In 1969, now using professional printing and binding, the publication began officially calling itself the Columbia-Barnard Course Guide in. The following year’s edition (the 1970 Columbia-Barnard Course Guide) is the earliest issue housed at the Barnard Archives.

Students evaluated courses using surveys provided by Columbia-Barnard Course Guide staff on a five-point scale from 1970 until 1981, and again beginning in 1992. 1982-1990 course guides were graded on a ten-point scale, the 1969 guide used letter grades, and earlier editions contained only written evaluations. Criteria that instructors were evaluated on included presentation, informative value, readings, and workload. Course Guides also contained statistics on different instructors’ grade distributions. In 1977, the Course Guide began including School of Engineering courses along with its regular Barnard and Columbia College listings.

Cuts in student funding put the Course Guide on hiatus in 1990, and no Course Guides were published during the following year. The Course Guide had a somewhat gradual revival, with smaller supplemental guides published during the 1992-1993 academic year before a full course guide was finally published again in 1993. Although the Barnard student handbooks mention the Columbia-Barnard Course Guides up until 2000, the Barnard Archive only has course guides up to 1994.

These course guides can be seen as precursors to the current online Columbia Underground Listing of Professor Ability (CULPA) review website.


1.42 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 carton)




This collection consists of Columbia-Barnard Course guides, which were annual student publications that reviewed courses and instructors at Barnard College and Columbia University.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Physical Location

This collection is located in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, Barnard Library. To use this collection, please contact the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at 212.854.4079 or

Acquisition Information

Transferred to the archives from the Barnard library.


No additions are expected.

Processing History

This collection was processed by Marcia Bassett and Caitlin Hamrin BC’12. Finding aid written by Caitlin Hamrin in July 2010.

The finding aid was updated by Hilary Price in June 2015.

Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Encoding: Machine readable finding aid encoded in EAD 2002.

Finding aid written in English.


Guide to Columbia-Barnard Course Guides
Caitlin Hamrin and Hilary Price
© 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Barnard Archives and Special Collections Repository

3009 Broadway
New York NY 10027 United States