Category Archives: News

LGBT Magazine Archive

The LGBT Magazine Archive provides full text, cover to cover access to a variety of publications ranging from the Advocate to Transgender Tapestry, and includes French, English, and Scottish publications.

The Advocate’s coverage of the fifth annual Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade on June 30th, 1974.

Other Columbia University Library databases supporting LGBTQ*  research:



Women’s Studies Archive: Women’s Issues and Identities

Women’s Studies Archive: Women’s Issues and Identities is a new full-text database of primary source material useful for researching 19th-and 20th-century women’s history, with a focus on sexuality and reproductive freedom; women and the labor movement; international peace activism; and second wave feminist movements.  It also includes a collection of European periodicals, and a collection of the personal papers of a variety of women, including suffragists, missionaries, and communists.  This database is a digitization and full-text indexing of collections that were previously available in microfilm.  Researchers can search across the entire database or within specific collections.

Sexuality and Reproductive Rights

  • Committee of Fifteen Records, 1900-1901
  • Malthusian (1879-1921) and Eugenics Review (1909-1921)
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America Records, 1918-1974

Labor Activism

  • Women’s Trade Union League and its Leaders (1903-1950), which includes the records of the New York Women’s Trade Union League and the papers of its leaders Rose Schneiderman, Margaret Dreier Robins.
  • Women’s Labour League: Conference Reports and Journals (1906-1977)

Peace Activism

  • Collected Records of the Women’s Peace Party, 1914-1920
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section (1919-1959)
  • Records of the Women’s Peace Union, 1921-1940

Second Wave Feminism

  • National Women’s History Project  collections: Herstory (1956-1974), Women and Mental Health (1965-1975), Women and Law (1969-1975)
  • Grassroots Feminist Organizations, Part 1: Boston (1968-1998)
  • Grassroots Feminist Organizations, Part 2: San Francisco (1972-1998)

Multidisciplinary collections

  • European Women’s Periodicals (1840-1940)
  • Women’s Lives (1834-1964) – letters, and diaries



Welcome to the Libraries!

We are excited to be welcoming new and returning faculty, students and researchers to campus as we gear up for the new academic year.  Our knowledgeable and helpful staff are here to support you–no question is too big or small!

Stop by the Welcome Week Table in the Butler Library Lobby, Tuesday through Friday, September 4th-7th, 12 noon – 4pm. We will be there to answer your questions about using the Libraries spaces, the many services we offer, and more. You may even get a sweet treat.

Join in a Getting Your Bearings Session, including a tour of Butler Library,  between August 29th  and September 5th.

We also invite you to:
Search our collections
Explore library research support services
Connect with a subject expert
Ask a Librarian
Visit our many library locations
Borrow materials
Attend a workshop
Follow @ColumbiaLib

Have a productive and enjoyable semester!

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

Building the Contemporary Composers Web Archive (by Samantha Abrams)

Building the Contemporary Composers Web Archive
by Samantha Abrams, Web Resources Collection Librarian, Ivy Plus Libraries

Ever-evolving, the Contemporary Composers Web Archive is an extension of an existing collaborative collection development agreement between Ivy Plus Libraries and music librarians at Brown University, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Yale University. The agreement identified approximately 1,500 globally based contemporary composers of sufficient importance, and underscored a shared commitment to have each composer’s published and printed works collected at a comprehensive level by at least one participating Ivy Plus Library. Under the agreement, contemporary composers are defined as: those twentieth-century composers still active in 1975; works by those composers deceased after 1975, but published for the first time in significant new editions after 1975; and / or composers active after 1975.

Now part of the Ivy Plus Web Collecting Program, the Archive exists to preserve official websites that belong to these notable contemporary composers in order to assure the continuing availability of the important, and potentially ephemeral, content they contain, including: biographies, discographies, recordings, writings, audio and video, photos, press notices, and everything in between. As it stands today, the Contemporary Composers Web Archive contains fifty-seven crawled, publicly available websites, and about nine-hundred and fifty websites in the process of being added to the collection. (The fifty-seven sites currently visible on Archive-It were part of the Archive’s pilot collection, and have each been crawled, on average, about eight times since 2014.) in April of 2014 in August of 2017









Curious about what goes into preparing a chosen website for the Archive?

Finding the right website. We all know that the web is as vast as it is cluttered, and part of our work involves finding the correct content we’re looking to capture. Because the Archive exists to collect only official webpages, there remains a lot of freely-available content that we don’t want. Take from our list Philip Glass, for instance, who has an official website — — as well as a Wikipedia page, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, an IMDb entry, and a fan site. Or, try to track down the correct Jon Nelson — who, according to a quick Google search, may teach at the University of North Texas, lecture at the University of Buffalo, lead the Jon Nelson Band, or produce music in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. This is when consulting with our music librarians — and checking our findings against their supplied definition of contemporary — helps. Another strategy involves turning to the Library of Congress, and its Name Authority Headings, for guidance; i.e., if a name in question reveals a birthdate of 1656 — so, the seventeenth century — we know we’ve got the wrong composer.

Which Jon Nelson do we choose?

Collecting metadata. All websites included in the Contemporary Composers Web Archive contain website-level metadata in Archive-It, including: the composer’s name (in the authorized heading from the Library of Congress) as the subject, the title of their website, and the language — or languages! — in which their website is written. It often takes a bit of sleuthing to compile this information accurately: the world of web archiving recommends no official metadata structure — yet! — so pulling, say, a title from a website is often a judgement call made by the archivist doing the work. Is the title the website’s header? Is it the text that appears on the tab of your Internet browser? Is it a combination of the two?

Communicating with composers. Before adding a site to the Contemporary Composers Web Archive, Ivy Plus Libraries contacts the composer — or estate, organization, etc. — it belongs to and informs them of our plans. (Composers are, at any time throughout the process, welcome to opt-out of the Ivy Plus Web Collecting Program, upon which Ivy Plus Libraries will either not collect their site, or remove public access to previous captures.) This gives composers the chance to receive more information, and ask questions, about the Program, and point us in the right direction should we link to an incorrect website, misspell a name, or make another similar mistake. Ivy Plus Libraries recently contacted — via email and, when necessary, by phone — all nine-hundred and fifty composers selected for inclusion in the Archive, to which an overwhelming number have responded favorably to having their website included. (“Sehr schön!” — ”How beautiful!” — one said.)

Testing, testing, testing. Before Ivy Plus Libraries adds sites to the Archive and makes them available publicly, the archivist runs a test crawl of the site (or larger collection) using Archive-It. This gives the Program a chance to run quality assurance and make sure we understand: how much data will be collected, what may prove difficult to capture (like interactive maps, or social media), and what may need to be collected in addition to what’s already been nominated (like a composer’s blog that lives on a different domain). Test crawls allow the archivist to identify problems that aren’t apparent by merely looking at the live site, and enhance the overall quality of the Archive.

What’s next?

The Ivy Plus Libraries Web Collecting Program is a collaborative collection development effort to build curated, thematic collections of freely available, but at-risk, web content in order to support research at participating Ivy Plus Libraries and beyond.

The Contemporary Composers Web Archive will continue to expand as those composers currently absent from the Internet create websites and / or new composers are added to the project by Ivy Plus Libraries Music Librarians. Ivy Plus Libraries is also focused on significantly expanding its second collection — the Collaborative Architecture, Urbanism, and Sustainability Web Archive, devoted to the related topics of architecture, urban fabric, community development activism, public space, and sustainability — and building new collections.

For more information about the Contemporary Composers Web Archive — or, if you’re a selector curious about building new collections in partnership with the Ivy Plus Libraries Web Collecting Program — please contact Samantha Abrams at, or (212) 854-1482.


Welcome to the Libraries!

We all look forward to this time of year, when we welcome and introduce our university community to the extensive resources available in the Libraries. Here are some of our upcoming events and orientation sessions.

“Getting Your Bearings” for Graduate Students

The Libraries will be offering five “Getting Your Bearings” sessions to introduce graduate students to our collections, resources, and services.

The sessions begin with a 45 minute tour of key points and services in Butler Library, including an intro to our Rare Book & Manuscript library. The tours will begin in the lobby of Butler Library, just inside the main entrance.

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.

If you don’t anticipate a great deal of book research in your work at Columbia, you may simply want to come directly to Butler 306 about 45 minutes after the beginning of the tour. (Note the alternate location for the Thursday afternoon session.)

Thursday, August 31 — 11:00-12:30
Thursday, August 31, 3:30 — 5:00 (NOTE: Part 2 meets in Butler Room 203)
Friday, September 1, 2:00 — 3:30
Tuesday, September 5, 11:00 — 12:30
Tuesday, September 5, 3:00 — 4:30

Welcome Week Table and Butler Library Tours

Please drop by our Welcome Week table in the lobby of Butler Library.
Tuesday, September 5- Friday, September 8, 12:00pm-4:00pm

Take a tour of Butler Library, led by our librarians. No reservation required; meet in the lobby of Butler Library.
Tuesday, September 5, 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, September 6, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Friday, September 8, 11:00 am -12:00pm

We wish you a successful and enjoyable Fall Semester!

Borrow Direct Loan Period Expanded to 16 Weeks

From the Libraries Spotlight Blog:

We heard you!

The expanded 16-week loan period for materials requested via Borrow Direct begins July 1, 2017.

The new loan period will be 16 weeks – a full semester – with no renewals. This is a change from our current 6-week loan period plus one 6-week renewal.

Thank you for your feedback. You help to make a great service even greater.

Are there other ways for us to improve?  Please be in touch with your concerns, ideas, and questions.

Borrow Direct Staff

307 Butler Library

(212) 854-7535

Featured Resource: NAACP Papers

The NAACP Papers database (ProQuest) was added to Columbia’s resources in Fall 2016. It consists of six modules reproducing a wide range of primary source materials from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“Nearly two million pages of internal memos, legal briefings and direct action
summaries—the most widely used collection in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress—are easily accessed and searched, helping researchers chart the
NAACP’s groundbreaking efforts. With a timeline that runs from 1909 to 1972, users can examine the realities of segregation in the early 20th century to the triumphs of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and beyond.” From ProQuest brochure NAACP Papers.

Recently Added Resources

The following online resources have become newly available to Columbia University researchers since September 12, 2016. We hope that you may find something of interest here.

Arcanum digitheca

Archives unbound has been enhanced by the addition of the following modules:

Church Missionary Society periodicals has been enhanced by the addition of Module 2: Publications of CMS medical mission auxiliaries.

Colonial America has been enhanced by the addition of Module 2: Towards Revolution.

Donetsk and Luhansk newspaper collection

Early European books: printed sources to 1700 has been enhanced by the addition of Collection 4.

Flavius Josephus online

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.