The International History of Cornell University

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Recognizing the importance of Cornell's vast experiences in international affairs - ranging from institution building and student exchange programs to water management projects and unique library collections - the CAPE Executive Council in 2004 initiated a project to document this part of the university's heritage. This is a part of Cornell's life that has been largely left out of the major published histories of the institution.

The "documentation" will firstly be a conventional book. But because such a history is dynamic, that is, ever-growing, the documentation will exist also in a publicly-available "digital repository" which will include the narrative text plus oral histories, related published and heretofore unpublished manuscripts, and photos. Under the administration of the Digital Media Group of the University Library, we expect that new materials will be added periodically, and we expect that some in the Cornell community may want to propose additional pieces to the text and to other parts of the repository. The book, itself, can be updated relatively easily inasmuch as our print publisher will be able to produce "just in time" copies.

Now, in 2006, we continue to work with various units of the University to document their international histories, and as the materials from the colleges, schools and programs become available, these will be suitably deposited.

CAPE would like to acknowledge support we received in the early stages of this project. Walter Cohen, who chaired the International Studies Committee of the University, and Ronnie Coffman, as head of the International Agriculture Program, contributed funds. Bob Cooke, administering a grant from Atlantic Philanthropies, pushed us into the modern publishing age by suggesting and giving support to the idea of producing a digital product (our "digital repository') that could be distributed throughout the world at minimal cost.

This is a project in progress. And its working title GLOBAL CORNELL, A History of the University's International Experiences is subject to change!

If you have questions or comments, you may call the CAPE Office (607-255-6608) or phone/email Royal D. Colle, International Professor Emeritus, at 607-255-2113 - email

View Chapter 1. Carol Kammen, Not the Most Isolated Place on the Eastern Seaboard


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