Author Archives: Sarah Witte

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.

Become a Digital Centers Intern!

The Columbia University Libraries is looking for Columbia graduate students to collaborate with librarians and technologists in supporting and promoting digital scholarship on campus. The Columbia University Libraries has three digital centers: Humanities, Science, and Social Science.

The Digital Centers are looking for students with a keen interest in digital scholarship to be interns in the centers during the 2015/16 academic year. The paid internships are competitive and students will receive hands-on experience working with emerging digital tools and methods within the centers.

For more information please see,

Applications are due by May 29, 2015.

Please send any questions to

Columbia Libraries Graduate Internship Program in Primary Sources

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Columbia University Libraries
Graduate Internship Program in Primary Sources

Invites Applications:

The Columbia University Libraries’ Graduate Student Internship Program is designed to enrich graduate studies and professional training in primary sources through an introduction to archival work, supplemented with lectures, workshops and tours. Once trained, interns arrange, describe and catalogue collections, and create finding aids for publication online.

Participating Libraries:

  • Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
  • Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
  • Rare Book & Manuscript Library
  •  Applicants must be currently matriculated graduate or professional students in one of Columbia University’s Schools or affiliates.
  •  Six internships are available from June 2015 through mid-May 2016.
  • The bulk of the work will be concentrated during the summer when interns may work up to 20 hours per week for up to 350 hours total. The rate of pay is $20/hour.


Application due: April 3, 2015

Questions? Contact: Adrien Hilton: or 212.854.8480

Graduate Student Internship Program Website and Application:

Collection Fields

  • Collections selected for interns to process may come from the following areas:

African-American Studies . Architecture and Art . Book Arts . United States Business and Economic History . Higher Education (including Columbia University) . Human Rights . Immigration . Journalism/Communications/Media . Literature and Criticism . Music . Politics and Political Movements . New York City History and Politics . Publishing and Bookselling . Religious History/Missionary Groups . Russian and Slavic History and Culture . Social Welfare/Social History . Urban Planning and Design . Women’s Studies



Specific collections under consideration for 2015-2016 include, but are not limited to:

○      Architectural collections include the papers and architectural records of:

  • James Rossant, post-war architect of Reston, VA.
  • Gordon Bunshaft, prominent modernist architect and art collector.
  • George Howe, Philadelphia-based architect, educator, and International Style proponent.
  • Robert Allan Jacobs, architect and partner in the prominent New York City architectural firm Kahn & Jacobs.
  • John Johansen, an American architect and Harvard Five member.

○      From the Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship, the papers of:

  • Ann B. Ulanov, professorand developer of leading course in Psychology and Religion.
  • Suzanne Hiatt, one of the first American women “irregularly” ordained as Episcopal priests.

○      From the Union Theological Seminary Archives, the papers of:

  • Roger Shinn, an educator, administrator and author who championed the ecumenical movement and social activism in Protestant churches.
  • Harrison S. Elliot, Methodist layman, religious educator and UTS professor who traveled widely in China.

○      From the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the papers and records of:

  • Renowned dust jacket designer Philip Grushkin, whose hallmark was his creative use of calligraphy and lettering in concert with a lightly drawn illustration.
  • Ballantine Books, established in 1952 by the legendary paperback pioneers Ian and Betty Ballantine.
  • Edmund Stevens, longest-serving American-born correspondent working from within the Soviet Union.
  • Slavic History collections including Alexander Sumerkin (requires reading knowledge of Russian) and Henryk Grynberg (requires reading knowledge of Polish).
  • Columbia University Libraries Office Files containing some of the earliest known records of the Libraries with significant correspondence from the late 19th century.

CLIO Adds Virtual Shelf Browse

Virtual Shelf Browse allows researchers to browse the catalog as if all of our items, including titles that are at Offsite or online, were arranged by call number on a single shelf.   Start browsing from the foot of a CLIO catalog record, by choosing “Show” or “Full Screen.”

Choose  “Full Screen” for a larger display, to download to Zotero, or to select multiple items for emailing or saving.  One can browse forwards or backwards as long as desired.  To return to your original search, choose “Return to…” on the upper right corner.


When an item is associated with more than one call number, choose a call number to begin the browse:


We welcome questions, comments and suggestions for improving CLIO.  Your feedback is invaluable as we develop the interface. Please comment below, use the Suggestions & Feedback form under the “Help” menu in the upper right corner of CLIO, or Ask a Librarian.

Power Research and Writing on the Mac: Workshops in Digital Workflow Applications

Three Digital Humanities Center workshops will focus on scholarly workflow tools on successive Friday mornings.  Attend any that interest you.

February 13th, 20th and 27th
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Butler 306

These are designed for users with Mac laptops, who are encouraged to download a demo version (as described below) of each of the three softwares prior to the class. 


1) Introduction to Sente for PDF and Bibliographic Management (Friday, February 13th) 11am-12:30pm,  306 Butler Library

This workshop will introduce students to Third Street Software’s application Sente for Mac, which combines many of the bibliographical management aspects of Zotero with a full-service PDF capturing, note taking and organization system. Participants will learn the basics of how to setup libraries, capture and organize their PDFs from online databases and personal libraries, use some of Sente’s organizational features, annotate PDFs, and synchronize with iPad and iPhone applications. Participants will also learn how to export notes and be introduced to Sente’s “cite and scan” feature for producing formatted citations.

All participants are asked to bring their own Mac laptop, and download and install the trial version of Sente ( ahead of time. 


2) Introduction to Scrivener for Mac (Friday, February 20th)
11am-12:30pm, 306 Butler Library

Do you hate Microsoft Word? Welcome to the club, but there is a great alternative! This workshop is intended to be a crash course in using Scrivener for writing and researching your academic projects, large and small. Scrivener is an amazing application that brings much more flexibility, fungibility, and functionality to all aspects of the writing process. Participants will learn the basic Scrivener interface , as well as its unique organizational features including: how to label and re-arrange information; import, export, and compile documents; visualize segments in the outliner and cork board views; and how to write using Scrivener’s unique full-screen mode.

All participants are asked to bring their own Mac laptop, and download and install the trial version of Scrivener ( ahead of time. 


3) Introduction to DEVONthink for Mac (Friday, February 27th)
   11am-12:30pm, 306 Butler Library

Feel like you’re drowning in data? Would you like to better capture, organize, and search your own digital data (Word files, PDFs, web clippings, notes, etc.)? In this workshop participants will be introduced to a powerful piece of software for document and data management on the Mac called DEVONthink. Similar to Evernote, DEVONthink allows seamless capture of web research and online clippings plus features a powerful AI that helps users draw heuristic connections between the pieces of data contained in their databases. Participants will be introduced to these features, be shown how to setup databases, and also introduced to DEVONthink’s various tools (ex. automatic OCR) and scripts that allow interaction between various applications in a workflow and the automation of tasks. 

 All participants are asked to bring their own Mac laptop, and download and install the trial version of DEVONthink Pro Office ( ahead of time. 

 Questions?  Please contact Bob Scott ( or call the Digital Humanities Center, 212-854-7547.


Tabloids Added to British Periodicals Database

British periodicals (Collection  III)  has been recently added to our British Periodicals database:

British Periodicals provides access to the searchable full text of British periodicals from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Subject areas covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.

Britannia and EveBritish Periodicals Collection III includes these tabloids and illustrated newspapers:

  • Brittania and Eve (1929-1931, 1952), monthly
  • Bystander (1903-1949), weekly
  • The Graphic (1869-1932), weekly
  • The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (1874-1970), later called Sport & Country in the 1950s and Farm & Country (1960-1971), weekly
  • The Illustrated War News (1939), weekly
  • The Sketch (1893-1929, 1953-56), weekly
  • The Sphere (1900-1919, 1964), weekly
  • The Tatler 1901-1967), weekly

If you have a questions about this database, or any other research question, please visit, call, email or text us.

Snow Closures: Butler and Barnard Libraries Will Be Open as Study Spaces

Most Columbia University Libraries and services will close today, Monday, January 26, at 3:00pm, and will remain closed through Tuesday, January 27.  All Libraries will resume regular hours on Wednesday, January 28th.

Butler Library will remain open after 3:00 pm Monday and all day Tuesday as a study space.   Barnard Library will remain open until midnight and have normal hours Tuesday (8:45am-midnight), but there will be no library-staffed services.

Please also check the University web site,, for updates on emergency closures due to severe weather.

Community Service Society of New York. "Looking North on Elizabeth Street." Photograph. between 1879 and 1950. Columbia Digital Library Collections [Columbia University Libraries]. Accessed 26 Jan 2015. - See more at:

Community Service Society of New York. “Looking North on Elizabeth Street.” Photograph. Columbia Digital Library Collections [Columbia University Libraries]. Accessed 26 Jan 2015.

New Database: Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences

Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry  (EDC) is an XML-based archive of poems and letters from Emily’s correspondence with her sister-in-law and primary confidante, Susan Dickinson. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript. These images have zoom functionality as well as a special light-box feature that allows users to view and compare constellations of related documents.

Dickinson It is a product of the Dickinson Electronic Archive (DEA).

Sue - you can go or stay -

If you have a questions about this database, or any other research question, please visit, call, email or text us.

Database Trial: American Consumer Culture: Market Research and American Business, 1935-1965

American Consumer Culture: Market Research and American Business, 1935-1965 provides a unique insight into the world of buying, selling and advertising in pre- and post-war America. The collection provides access to thousands of market research reports by pioneering analyst Ernest Dichter and his Institute for Motivational Research, commissioned by advertising agencies and global businesses in a booming era for consumerism, ‘Madison Avenue’ advertising and global brands.

American Consumer CultureURL:

Access: IP (on campus only)

Please forward comments and evaluation remarks to John Tofanelli (

The trial will run through January 16, 2014.