Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Lantern Wall at Avery Library

In 1881, William Robert Ware founded the Architecture Program at Columbia University, bringing with him an extensive collection of lantern slides, the foundation of the image archive at the school. These glass plate photographs depict a wide range of locations and represented the most technologically advanced method of image representation at the time. The lantern slide as a medium vastly expanded the scope of architectural education, providing a new means to view works that were formerly known only through drawings and textual descriptions. Eventually, the detail-rich format of the lantern slide was surpassed by the 35mm slide for its color and economy, and more recently by the digital image for its immediacy and flexibility. But the slides themselves remain as a testament to the evolving history of architectural education, the technology of image-making, and our architectural heritage.

Juxtaposed to Avery Library’s digital scanning lab, the installation continues the themes of the GSAPP exhibition “Framed Transformations: The Lantern Slide in Architecture Education” (Fall 2010). That project explored the technology and pedagogy behind lantern slides and other forms of image representation.

The Lantern Wall project was designed and installed by the GSAPP Slide & Video Library curatorial team:
    Exhibition Design: Michael Bosbous, Zach Edelson, Damon Lau, Caroline Lebar, Luisa Mendez, Tiffany Rattray, Anton Yupangco
    Fabrication and Installation:  Geof Bell, Damon Lau, Caroline Lebar, Tiffany Rattray, Anton Yupangco
Slide Library Curatorial Staff: Luisa Mendez, Curator 2011-2012; Caroline Lebar, Curator 2012-2013; Damon Lau, Senior Assistant Curator; Tiffany Rattray, Assistant Curator
Slide Library Staff:  Rand Abdul Jabbar, Lina Ayala, Geof Bell, Michael Bosbous, Zach Edelson, Albert Lopez,  Ismaelly Pena, Maya Porath, Katie Stokien, Anton Yupangco

Grand Central Terminal/Warren & Wetmore

In last Sunday's New York Times, an article by Sam Roberts celebrating the centennial of Grand Central Terminal featured images from the Warren & Wetmore collection  in Avery Drawings and Archives:

Warren & Wetmore designed the terminal jointly with Reed & Stem. In addition to architectural drawings and papers, Avery Library also has the firm's office safe, which is now installed in the Avery Classics reading room.

Welcome back students!!

Avery Library welcomes back students! We hope you had a great vacation and are ready for the new semester.

Just a couple of quick reminders:

When we are not available for reference questions you can click on "Ask a Librarian" to be connected to Virtual Reference.

Our hours for the Spring semester are here.

Best wishes,

Avery Staff

Ada Louise Huxtable Tribute

Ada Louise Huxtable, the Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic, died on January 7. She was most recently the architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal. As the New York Times reported in its obituary, Ms. Huxtable considered Avery Library her "most treasured academic home."

She covered Avery Library exhibitions and events in many pieces for the Times, and was always generous in her praise, as in this 1980 review of a special exhibition celebrating Avery Librarian Adolf Placzek and this 1972 essay, "A Place of Genuine Joy".  In this 1977 article on the library's recent renovation, Ms. Huxtable recalled visiting Avery and holding some of the world's greatest treasures of architectural literature in her hands.

In addition to being a champion of buildings, Ms. Huxtable was a champion of libraries, and she will be missed.

Image credit:
Ada Louise Huxtable with Walter Severinghaus and Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, at the Mayor's Press meeting on Convention Center, February 13, 1973.
Bunshaft papers (Box 5:21), Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Erin Leach joins Avery Library

Erin Leach joins Avery Library as the Cataloging/Metadata Librarian for the Seymour B. Durst Old York Library Collection project. Erin earned an M.A. in Information Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005. An active member of ALA and ALCTS, Erin was a member of the 2011 Emerging Leaders cohort. She currently chairs the Continuing Resources Section's Policy and Planning Committee.

Prior to joining the Avery Library staff, Erin worked at Washington University in Saint Louis as a Catalog Librarian. Erin focused on cataloging serials, ebooks, databases, and a variety of other non-print formats. In addition to her cataloging duties, Erin also worked on diverse cross-departmental projects for the WUSTL Libraries including assessment, instruction, and emerging technologies.

Zorn book on Lindbergh kidnapping case

Author Robert Zorn, whose book titled "Cemetery John" is about the Lindbergh Case, is at Avery Library Drawings & Archives studying the drawings of Delano & Aldrich who designed the Lindbergh residence as well as the Morrow residence in Englewood, NJ. 

There will be a NOVA special airing Jan. 30, 2013 relating to the case.

Barbara Sykes-Austin Retires from Avery Library

After twenty-five years of dedicated service, Barbara Sykes-Austin has retired to pursue personal interests.

Over the span of her career, Barbara contributed more than 100,000 records to the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals — nearly one-sixth of the total number of records in the Index! These records established a rigorous standard that has become a hallmark of the Index, making it a valued resource to researchers worldwide.
In addition, she contributed more than 25 book notes on art and architecture to C&RL's  "Selected Reference Works," and served as editor of the Guide to Reference Sources (10, 11, & 12 editions) for architecture and decorative arts sections.
She served as treasurer of ARLIS/NA (1995-96) and of the Council of Planning Librarians (1996-97). 
But perhaps her most notable contribution as been her dedication to research support services. She has been a highly valued source of reference and consultative services to our students and the community of scholars who use Avery, its services and collections.