Bronx Community College, Hall of Fame Collection

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans collection consists of 142 photographs and documents related to the selection, election, and media coverage of individuals represented in the Hall of Fame located at Bronx Community College (BCC). Honorees include authors, educators, architects, inventors, military leaders, judges, theologians, philanthropists, humanitarians, scientists, statesmen, artists, musicians, actors, and explorers. Dating from the 1920s to the 1970s, the collection includes memoranda and personal correspondence, office records, publicity materials, and photographs.

In the late 1800s NYU sought to relocate its expanding campus away from the growing congestion of Washington Square for the more pastoral locale of what is now the University Heights neighborhood in the Bronx. Largely made possible by financial backing from Mrs. Finley J. Shepard (Helen Gould), construction of the new campus was spearheaded by Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, Chancellor of NYU from 1891 to 1910. This construction included the Gould Memorial Library at the heart of the University’s new campus and its adjacent open-air Colonnade, which was later the site of the Hall of Fame.

Founded in 1900, The Hall of Fame was the first memorial of its kind in the country, built to honor prominent Americans who made a significant impact on this nation's history. Designed by renowned architect Stanford White and formally dedicated on May 30, 1901, the Colonnade accommodates 102 sculptured works and currently houses the busts and commemorative plaques of 98 of the 102 honorees inducted since 1901. The Hall of Fame’s portrait busts have been called “the largest and finest collection of bronze busts anywhere in our country.” In 1973, the Hall of Fame, along with the rest of the University Heights campus, was sold to the City University of New York (CUNY) and was designated the new home for BCC. With its rich history and unrivaled architecture, the Hall of Fame celebrates the educational accomplishments of American luminaries such as Alexander Graham Bell, George Washington Carver, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ulysses Grant, Jane Addams, Lillian Wald, Booker T. Washington, and James Madison, as well as now-forgotten statesmen, authors, and inventors.

About the BCC Archives & Special Collections:

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans collection is held at BCC's Archives & Special Collections. In addition to materials on the Hall of Fame for Great Americans dating back to 1900, the Archives & Special Collections collects, preserves, and makes available primary and secondary materials that document the history of the campus since 1973 when NYU moved back to Greenwich Village and the campus officially became Bronx Community College (BCC). Through its collections, the Archives will not only chronicle the history and academic achievements of the campus, but it will also promote awareness of the diverse ethnic and cultural history of its student body and the local Bronx community that it serves. Our mission to acquire and preserve materials is coupled with a commitment to outreach and access.

To learn more about our collections, visit our site at: http://bcc-cuny.libguides.com/archives

Our collections are open to the public by appointment: archives@bcc.cuny.edu