The Return of Special Collections at Burke!

  Earlier this Fall, The Burke Library proudly reopened its doors to the Columbia and Union communities after being closed for eighteen months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been wonderful to see so many new and returning friends use Burke’s study spaces, stacks, and general collections. Our staff is particularly proud to provide […]

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Updating Finding Aids: Improving the Discovery of Archives at the Burke Library

  Like many archivists at CUL and beyond, I’ve found working remotely to be an opportunity to address back burner projects. Chief among these is the conversion of Burke’s 400+ finding aids, which were originally created as PDFs, into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format — an XML standard for archival finding aids. You may be […]

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Virtual Teaching with Rare Materials in the Era of COVID-19

Screenshot of presentation by librarians Jeffrey Wayno, Emily Runde, and Melina Moe

  Over the last year, much has changed at The Burke library. The era of COVID-19 has brought about a host of challenges, particularly the ongoing effort to connect students with our magnificent collection of rare materials. The Burke is currently closed to visitors, but manuscripts, rare books, and archival material are always richer and […]

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Buying Cool Things for the Burke

For many of us, the start of a new year brings with it new things: new calendars, new resolutions, even new routines. In the Columbia University Libraries, it also brings about… a new budget season. January, which is half-way through our fiscal year, is a good opportunity to take stock of how we’ve spent our […]

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Greetings from the Archives: Leah’s First Big Offsite Project

Happy (mid) October, and happy American Archives Month! I’m Leah Edelman, the Outreach Archivist at the Burke Library, and though I started working here at the end of June, I thought this month would be a good one to introduce myself on the blog. With support from the wonderful library team, I manage all things […]

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Microfiche: the Nachlass Collection

Photograph of the exhibit case housing the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Nachlass microfiche collection exhibit

“Microfiche is cool” is a sentence one rarely hears any more, in the Internet age. Yet I am constantly reminded of the astonishing efficiency of microformatting, when researchers ask to see the collection of primary-source materials of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—noted German theologian, pastor, and anti-Nazi dissident, and onetime student at Union Theological Seminary—preserved on microfiche, collectively […]

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“Spirit of ’68” Part II: Research in the Administrative Files

By Jake Hearen, Student Research Assistant for the “Spirit of ’68” Exhibit (Posted c/o Carolyn Bratnober, Public Services Librarian) I came to Union a bit behind the power curve. My formal involvement within a theological framework is relatively new. I had not heard of James Cone until I visited in the spring; I promise his […]

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Organizing the Divine: Julia Pettee and the Union Classification System

The creation of the Union Classification System reads much like a recipe: 1 cup of Dr. Hugo Munsterberg’s classification, ½ cup of Dr. Charles R. Gillett’s classed catalog, mixed together with Charles Ammi Cutter’s classification and folded into 3 cups Alfred Cave’s An Introduction to Theology. But as with any recipe, the most important element […]

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