My graduate advisor in history at the University of New Orleans, Dr. Jerah Johnson studied under Jacques Barzun at Columbia. In addition to having us use Barzun's The Modern Researcher as our methodology text in historiography class, this led him to tell us a couple of interesting anecdotes about Dr. Barzun.

1. Dr. Barzun published a monograph in which he traced French cultural history by looking at it through the framework of the successive layers of paint on the door of his grandfather's Parisian apartment.

2. During the time that Dr. Johnson was at Columbia (the 1950s), it was a point of curiosity for students to watch Dr. Barzun arrive at work in the morning. His car would pull up the gate of the university and the driver would get out, let Dr. Barzun out of the car, open the door to the building for him, then his office door, place Dr. Barzun's briefcase on his desk and open it, before returning to the car and driving off. In the evening, the entire process was repeated in reverse.