The Eckley Sermons: a Manuscript Cataloging Mystery

Image of a handwritten sermon by Joseph Eckley, circa the late-1700s or early-1800s.

*NOTE: The Burke Library is currently closed and personnel are working from home due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak (see Columbia’s COVID-19 guidance page for more information and consult the Your Libraries Online portal for increased access to e-resources during this time). We are sharing this post, written a few weeks ago, harkening back to […]

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“On That Happy Ground”: Lyrics from the First African Methodist Pocket Hymn Book (1818)

  The Burke Library staff got a curious inquiry last week from a researcher in Maryland seeking a particular hymn book held in our Special Collections. He believed it would hold the key to a piece of his research, about the first African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) church in service in Easton, Maryland, convened by a […]

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Mapping the Holy Land: a New Exhibit, by Jeffrey Wayno

Visitors at the Burke Library may have noticed our new exhibit, Mapping the Holy Land, which showcases two items from our special collections—one from the rare book collection, one from the archives—to highlight how scholars of the past have thought about, and visualized, one of the most historic and contentious areas of our world. The […]

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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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The Black Theology Papers Project | guest blogger Heather J. Ketchum

NOTE: The following was written by Union Theological Seminary student Heather J. Ketchum (MDiv 2020). Her brief bio is below. ———- This week, the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature convene in San Diego  for the annual AAR/SBL conference, and this year, I was pleased to collaborate with faculty and librarians at […]

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Martin Luther Redux

In the fall of 2017, an exhibit marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation-kindling Ninety-five Theses was mounted at Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. On Oct. 31 — “Reformation Day” — a panel was held there that included Union Seminary faculty members Euan Cameron and Brigitte Kahl and the German Consul-General, David Gill. The […]

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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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A Life of its Own: an Itinerant Manuscript

UTS Manuscripts Student Series Post 3 of 4, by Emily Gebhardt, a Graduate Student in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at Columbia University*   At first glance, UTS MS 019 resembles many of the other medieval manuscripts and codices housed in Burke Library’s collections—it is old, it is worn, and it has clearly seen […]

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“Summa contra gentiles” and its Readers

A folio from UTS MS 005, a manuscript of Thomas Aquinas's "Summa contra gentiles." From the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

UTS Manuscripts Student Series Post 2 of 4, by Valerie Wilson (MA candidate, Medieval and Renaissance Studies)* The script of the Burke Library’s UTS MS 005, a manuscript of Thomas Aquinas’s Summa contra gentiles within the Burke’s Van Ess Collection, is one of its most baffling features. The manuscript comes from the Benedictine monastery of […]

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