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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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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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 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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“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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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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