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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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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Color Our Collections at the Burke Library

For the second year in a row, the Burke Library participated in a worldwide weeklong initiative to spread awareness and engagement with Special Collections known as Color Our Collections. In this series of events, initiated by the New York Academy of Medicine, libraries and museums around the world upload black-and-white versions of images in their […]

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