Author Archives: Sarah Witte

International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day and 1968: The Global Revolutions, an exhibition in our Rare Book and Manuscript Library,  here are some recent full-text databases for researching women in 1968-1970.

Independent Voices, a database of underground and alternative magazines and newspapers.  Includes feminist, Black American, campus underground, GI Press, Latino, LGBT, Native American, and right-wing titles.

Second issue of Notes, published by the New York Radical Feminists, from Independent Voices.

African American Periodicals, 1825-1995
Includes Black Panther (1967-1975), Soul (1966-1976) and many other titles.

Black Panther, August 9, 1969, p.23. From African American Periodicals

Women’s Magazine Archive
Includes Cosmopolitan (1926-1994) Essence (1970-2005), Seventeen (1954-2005) as well as Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Parents, Redbook, and Better Homes and Gardens.

Angela Davis: Black Woman on the Run, Essence November 1970, Women’s Magazine Archive

Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940
Includes The Ladder, Daughter of Bilitis Newsletter, and other LGBTQ journals and archival collections from the Lesbian Herstory Archive, Atlanta Feminists Alliance, the One National Archives, and many other sources.

April 1968 issue of The Ladder, from Archives of Human Sexuality

The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives 1960 – 1974
Includes Ramparts (1960-1975), letters, documents, oral histories, and videos.

Abortion, Association to Repeal Abortion Laws. Discusses the cost of traveling to Mexico for an abortion. From The Sixties.

Other useful resources for researching Women and Gender:

Recent Scholarship
Gender Studies Database
Contemporary Women’s Issues
Feminae: Medieval Women & Gender Index

Historical Full Text Resources
Gerritsen Collection: Women’s History Online, 1543-1945
Everyday Life and Women in America, 1820-1900
Women and Social Movements in the United States 1600-2000
LGBT Thought and Culture
NAACP Papers

American History in Video
LGBT Studies in Video

Letters & Diaries
Epistolae: Medieval Latin Women’s Letters

Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers 1500-1700
British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries, from 1500-1900
North American Women’s Letters and Diaries, 1700-1900
Manuscript Women’s Letters and Diaries, from the American Antiquarian Society, 1750-1950

These are just a few of the resources that might be useful to you.  If you are researching a topic related to women, gender, or sexuality,  we are here to help.  Please contact us to  Ask a Reference QuestionSchedule a Research Consultation, or to chat via Ask a Librarian

Women’s Magazine Archive

Redbook, June 1973

The Women’s Magazine Archive  provides full-text access to popular women’s interest magazines.  Collection 1 has just been published and includes Better Homes and Gardens (1925-1978) , Good Housekeeping (1885-2005), Ladies Home Journal (1886-2005), Parents (1949-2005), Redbook (1903-2002), and the Canadian magazine Chatelaine (1928-2005).   These publications chronicle women’s roles and family life with articles on child rearing, home economics, health, careers, fashion,  current events, politics, and social conditions.  When it is published, Collection 2 will include Cosmpolitan, Essence, Seventeen, Town & Country, Women’s Day, and Women’s International Network News.



Featured Resources: New Databases in LGBTQ Studies

The Library has added three new databases to support LGBTQ studies at Columbia.

Archives of Human Sexuality: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940  includes digitized archives of the New York Mattachine Society, the Gay Activists Alliance, and ACT UP from the New York Public Library; newsletters, feminist newspapers,  and subject files from the Lesbian Herstory Archives; Daughters of Bilitis, homophile, and activism collections of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco;  AIDS Crisis records from the National Library of Medicine; Hall-Carpenter Archives, London School of Economics; the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives; and several collections of LGBT magazines.

LGBT Thought and Culture

LGBT Thought and Culture

LGBT Thought and Culture includes manuscripts from the Kinsey Institute for Research in  Sex, Gender and Reproduction, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, the Tracy Baim editorial files, the National Archives at Kew; and the Eros Foundation Archives.  It also includes books: scholarly and popular history, fiction and cultural studies.

LGBT Studies in Video

From Before Stonewall, LGBT Studies in Video

LGBT Studies in Video provides a cinematic survey of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people as well as the cultural and political evolution of the LGBT community.  This streaming collection features award-winning documentaries, interviews, archival footage, and select feature films exploring LGBT history, gay culture and subcultures, civil rights, marriage equality, LGBT families, AIDS, transgender issues, religious perspectives on homosexuality, global comparative experiences, and other topics.   The database includes 370 videos, searchable transcripts, and name and subject indexing.

Other Library databases in LGBTQ studies include LGBT Life, an index of scholarly and popular periodicals from the mid-twentieth century to the present, Gender Studies Database, and Independent Voices, an open access collection of the alternative press with a number of LGBT titles, including a run of ONE from 1954 to 1973.

New Database: LGBT Thought & Culture

Mary Day at Women and Children First bookstore. Behind her are owners Ann Christopherson and Linda Bubon. Photographs of anonymous women in a bookstore, Tracy Baim Editorial Files. LGBT Thought & Culture

Mary Day at Women and Children First bookstore. Behind her are owners Ann Christopherson and Linda Bubon. Photographs of anonymous women in a bookstore, Tracy Baim Editorial Files. LGBT Thought & Culture

LGBT Thought and Culture  is a full text database of books, periodicals, and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day. The collection includes materials collected by activist and publisher Tracy Baim from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s, the Magnus Hirschfeld and Harry Benjamin collections from the Kinsey Institute, selections from The National Archives in Kew, periodicals such as En la Vida and BLACKlines, select rare works from notable LGBT publishers including Alyson Books and Cleis Press, as well as mainstream trade and university publishers.

Attend a Zotero Workshop on 2/16, 2/22, 3/4 or 3/8

Zotero is a free citation management program that helps you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources and enables the download, capture, and indexing of full text, web pages, and research notes.    It also allows you to insert citations in Word documents in a wide variety of writing styles, such as APA, Chicago, etc.

Download Zotero at

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You have a choice when you download Zotero. You may download either Zotero for Firefox or the Zotero Standalone.

  • If you download Zotero for Firefox, be sure to also download the Zotero plug-ins for Microsoft Word or LibreOffice.
  • If you download Zotero Standalone, be sure to download at least one browser connector so that you can pass citations from your browser to Zotero.

There are helpful web tutorials on the Zotero site, but the libraries are also here to help you use Zotero.

The Library is offering weekly Zotero workshops in 306 Butler LIbrary:

Tuesday, February 16th from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm in 306 Butler Library
Monday, February 22nd from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm in 306 Butler Library
Friday, March 4th from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in 306 Butler
Tuesday, March 8th from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in 306 Butler

RSVP (  If you’re bringing your laptop, download Zotero before the workshop.

Visit the Library Workshops page to see other workshops being offered this semester.

Temporary Closure, Butler Room 301, Wednesday to Friday, February 10-12

Butler Room 301 will be closed temporarily, Wednesday through Friday, February 10-12, 2016. We will be installing new, permanent reading tables in 301 as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the quantity and quality of seating in this room.  The final phase of this improvement project is expected to take place in March when new lamps and permanent power sources will be added to the new tables.

Library staff will retrieve print reference materials housed in Butler 301 throughout the closure period. If you need to use a reference book (call numbers A-Q, R046-R999, and S-Z), please ask for assistance in Butler 305, the Digital Humanities Center. If Butler 305 is closed, you may ask for assistance at the Butler Circulation Desk. A guide to call numbers and locations for the Butler Reference collection is available on the Libraries’ website.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns at .

We look forward to welcoming you back to Butler 301 after the work is completed on Friday.

301 Butler

Get a New York Public Library card this Monday from noon-1pm

The New York Public Library is a great resource for downloadable e-books and e-audiobooks (kindle, overdrive, 3M, MP3, and many other formats).  It also has a vast collection of DVDs and books, amazing archival collections  and large collection of research databases.  All you need is a library card!

On Monday, 2/8, from noon-1pm, Lauren Bradley from the NYPL George Bruce branch will be in the Butler lobby on Monday (2/8) to sign people up for NYPL library cards. Anyone who lives, works, attends school, or pays property taxes in New York State is eligible to receive a free New York Public Library card.

Eligibility requirements and identification needed to sign up in person can be found at In most cases, all that’s needed is a valid Columbia, Barnard, or other school ID.

Library card sign up can also be done in person at any NYPL library, including the Morningside Heights branch at 113th and Broadway, or by applying online at

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10/1 @ 6PM: Doing Recent History: History that Talks (and Tweets!) Back

DoingRecentHistory_large-200x300Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 6:00 PM
Columbia University’s Butler Library, Room 523
535 West 114th Street, NYC

  • Why is writing living history challenging?
  • What are the ethics of doing research on social media?
  • How can archivists balance the ethics of open access and ethics of privacy?
  • Do historians watch enough TV?!

Join Tenured Radical Claire Bond Potter, editor of Doing Recent History, as she engages with these questions and more with contributors to the book, including historian David Greenberg, and archivists Laura Hart and Nancy Kaiser.

Getting Your Bearings: Tours and Orientation for Graduate Students

If you’re a graduate student, you may wish to attend one of our “Getting Your Bearings” orientations, designed to help you begin using the powerful information tools at your disposal and to point you to some of the most important library services and personnel at Butler Library and elsewhere on campus.

The Libraries will be offering six “Getting Your Bearings” sessions to introduce graduate researchers to our collections and services.

The sessions begin with a 40 to 45 minute tour of key points and  services in Butler Library, including an intro to our Rare Book and Manuscript library.  This is likely to be of most interest and  relevance to people working in the humanities, history, and social sciences. The tours will begin in the Butler Lobby.

Monday,  August 31,  3:00 pm
Tuesday,  September 1,   12:00 noon
Wednesday  September 2,  11:30:am
Thursday,  September 3,  1:00 pm
Friday,  September 4,  9:30 am and 1:00 pm

The second half of the session,  which will take place in Butler 306, will be devoted to an overview of the Libraries’ online information system and ways to get the most out of it, and would be of value to all graduate students.  Participants who want to attend only the second half should feel free to come directly to Butler 306 about 40 to 45 minutes after the beginning  of the tour.

Butler Library Lockers: Important Dates

2015 – 2016 LOCKER LOTTERY

Columbia graduate students may enter both the graduate and second floor locker lotteries.

Columbia undergraduate students may only enter the second floor locker lottery.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015
    Monday, September 14, 2015
    Notified via e-mail on Friday, September 18, 2015.
    You no longer claim your locker in the Library Information Office (LIO).  Your locker number and the combination to the lock provided by LIO will be emailed to you on Friday, September 18, 2015.  You must use the lock that we provide. This lock must not be removed.
    Lockers must be emptied by 5:00 PM on Saturday, May 14, 2016.


  • Only one submission for the lottery per student will be accepted; duplicate submissions will be discarded.
  • Graduate student status will be verified for entry into the graduate student locker lottery.
  • Lockers will be randomly assigned, no preferences considered.