Newfound Letter from a young Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Mahatma Gandhi

The Burke Library staff recently received a warm and exciting message from our friend Prof. Clifford Green, the Bonhoeffer Chair Scholar at Union Theological Seminary. He wrote eagerly telling us of the recent discovery in New Delhi of a previously unknown letter mailed to the famous resistance leader Mohandas Gandhi, sent in earnest by none […]

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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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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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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 German Ecclesiastical Heritage in the Smaragdus Manuscript

UTS Manuscripts Student Series Post 4 of 4*   The curiously-nicknamed “Smaragdus manuscript” (after the author of its first and most prominent text) is a curious collection of medieval writings officially known by its item number at the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, UTS MS 006. Written around the year 1100 in a Rhineland […]

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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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St. Eustace and Unexpected Emptiness in a Fifteenth-Century Book of Hours

UTS Manuscripts Student Series Post 1 of 4, by Eleanor Stern (Barnard College 2019)*   Inside of UTS MS 051, a fifteenth-century French book of hours believed to have belonged to King Henry III, now housed at the Burke Library, I expected to find certain kinds of illuminations. Most books of hours begin with a […]

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The Burke Library Goes International

One of the great joys of working at an educational institution is the chance to meet and interact with students, teachers, and researchers from all over the world. At the Burke, that kind of interaction usually takes place when people come to visit us in New York City. But recently I had the distinct pleasure […]

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Queering the Archives at Union Theological Seminary

Students enrolled in CE 223 "Queering Ethics" taught by Prof. Sarah Azaransky at Union Theological Seminary, examining an archival document folder at the Burke Library

Students in the course Christian Ethics 223, “Queering Ethics,” taught by Prof. Sarah Azaransky at Union Theological Seminary, visited the Burke Library on Wednesday, March 6th, to discuss queer frameworks of power, authority, and queer subjecthood in relation to archives. The class and I delved into hands-on archival inquiry with the papers of emilie m. […]

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