The 1930s

The decade began with classes taught in rented office space in noisy downtown Brooklyn.  By the end of the decade students, faculty, and administrators settled into a beautiful Georgian-style campus in the heart of the borough, with a new President taking the helm.  Brooklyn College’s first decade formed the character of the college and laid the foundation for future growth, challenges, and conflicts, as well as a tradition of academic excellence.

Crowded Brooklyn Streets

Crowded Brooklyn streets surrounding the Downtown Campus (circa 1930). Note the long since demolished Fulton Street el. (Brooklyn College Archives Photo Collection).

The Fight for a Public College in Brooklyn

The City and Hunter Branches

It’s Official: Brooklyn College is born!

Early Yearbooks as a Lens into Student Life

The First Commencement

The Search for a Campus

List of Sites Considered by the BHE

The Groundbreaking Ceremony

The Cornerstone Ceremony

Campus Sketches: The Art of Anthony Pugliese

Future 1930s Installments:


Student Activism

Student Press

Early Faculty and Administrators

Presidential Bookends: Boylan and Gideonse

The Dies Committee

Brooklyn College in the Spanish Civil War

Oral Histories

The school colors: a philosophical decision or a closeout sale?

The Alma Mater and its ties to Socialism

(Suggestions for blog posts: email


Statement on Harmful Content
The Archives and Special Collections Division of the Brooklyn College Library acquires, preserves, and provides access to records of enduring value that document the Brooklyn College community.  As a historical repository, some of the material housed in the Archives may contain language or views considered today to be biased, outdated, or offensive. These items are products of the time and society under which they were created. They do not reflect the current views of the Brooklyn College Library, which strives to provide an inclusive, open, and accessible learning environment. By preserving the historical record in an unaltered state, the Library fosters academic inquiry and discussion into our past, leading to a better understanding of the present.
When reading the posts on this blog, please keep in mind the time period these documents were created.