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.

Senior Thesis Forum April 6th

This year’s Senior Thesis Forum, hosted by the Humanities & History and Global Studies Librarians, will be held in Butler Library Room 523 on April 6th, 3:00-4:30. This forum offers graduating Seniors the opportunity to share their thesis projects and their research process with students, faculty, and librarians. This year’s event features four students from the Department of History. Faculty teaching thesis seminars, research librarians and curators identify students who have used libraries and archives intensively their projects. A selected number of students are asked to share their experiences and research outcomes in this informal session.

The event is open to all faculty, students and Libraries staff and we hope you can join us.

Maya M. Barad
Developing Eugenic Consciousness:The Campaign for the Voluntary Sterilization of the Mentally Deficient in Interwar Britain

Stuart Fine
Forging German-American Identity: Paul Oskar Kristeller’s Reception of Post-War Germany, 1940-1985

Conor Goetz
The 1919 Washington, DC Race Riot: The Culmination of Federal Policies, a Press Campaign, and a Changing Population

Sarah Roth
The Miracle at Sokilinki Park?: Corporate Co-Sponsorship of the American Kitchen at the 1959 Moscow Exhibit.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of these students!

Save the Date: Senior Thesis Forum

Wednesday, April 6, from 3:00-4:30pm

Each year, the Humanities & History and Global Studies librarians host a Senior Thesis Forum where undergraduate thesis writers share their research experiences with an audience of other students, librarians, and faculty.  The forum is structured as a panel discussion; and senior thesis writers are asked to speak about how they formulated their research interests and questions, their process of consulting with librarians, curators, archivists, faculty and other sources of support, and their discovery and use of the resources that enabled them to complete their theses.

All humanities faculty and prospective thesis writers are invited to attend! The forum will take place on Wednesday, April 6, from 3:00-4:30pm in Butler Library room 523.

If you are a faculty member advising a senior thesis writer whom you’d like to recommend as a participant, please email:

Pamela M. Graham,
Director, Global Studies
Interim Director, Humanities & History Libraries

EVENTS: Two Pieces of Comics History: March 7, April 18

In addition to the Bill Griffith event on March 16,  Comics@Columbia brings you two book talks that explore important people in the history of comics and cartoons.

On Monday, March 7, in celebration of Will Eisner Week, Paul Levitz joins Columbia professor Jeremy Dauber for a discussion focusing on Levitz’s recent book, Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel Levitz and Dauber are known on campus for the course they co-teach in the American Studies program, “The American Graphic Novel,” which will be offered again in Spring 2017.  Eisner, of course, was a groundbreaking cartoonist, businessman, educator, graphic novelist, and ultimately, evangelist and champion of the comics form as art and literature.  Join us for a spirited and scholarly discussion of Eisner’s significance, and how his influence has spread even to this university.

Monday, March 7, 6 PM

Butler Library, room 523

Book sales and signing will follow the talk.


On Monday, April 18, cartoonist and comics historian Michael Maslin joins renowned New Yorker cartoonist  and illustrator Edward Sorel for a lively discussion of one of the legends of cartooning, Peter Arno.  For over forty years, Arno contributed cartoons and covers to The New Yorker,  helping establish the magazine as the ne plus ultra of Manhattan style and sophistication.  Maslin’s new book, Peter Arno: the Mad, Mad World of The New Yorker’s Greatest Cartoonist, examines this bon vivant, one of the New Yorker‘s first geniuses, an artist whose powers of observation brought to life every social stratum, from the 400 to Café Society and from debutantes to flappers.

Monday, April 18, 6 PM

Butler Library, room 523

Book sales and signing will follow.


Humanities Data Management Workshop, March 24, 2016

The Humanities and History Division will be offering a new workshop, Humanities Data Management: An overview of resources and best practices for organizing, managing, and archiving your research materials at all stages of the scholarly process, on Thursday, March 24, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in Butler Library 208b (Studio@Butler).

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“Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham

All of us create an enormous amount of electronic material – in our research and writing, phone, email, and internet communications,  commercial transactions and official business,  and pursuit of our personal pastimes and interaction with others.  That material exists in a variety of formats – word processor files, bibliographic databases, pdfs, webpages, image and media files, spreadsheets, computer programs, blog and Twitter posts, email messages, address books and contact lists, text and voice messages and more – and is stored in a variety of locations – on personal computers, tablets,  cell phones, the Internet, CDs and DVDs,   external hard drives, USB drives and other places as well.  The files are typically easy to copy, send, store, transport, edit and transform, but they are also vulnerable to damage or loss through misplacement, editing errors, hardware or software failure or obsolescence, file decay or corruption, theft, water or fire damage, and  other mishaps.  Some of that material is short-lived, and thankfully so, given the huge amount of content that each of us produces.  At the same time, there is much we will want to save for the short, medium, or long term to support our ongoing research, to refer to or make available as needed, or simply to have as part of our personal collections.  Some will be for our use only, but we may want to make some of it available to others, and some we may eventually want to leave behind as a record of the work we have done in our careers.

For all these reasons, it is increasingly important to take steps to organize and preserve your data.  Most of us have an inadequate approach to this process at best.  However, a growing number of tools and strategies are available to make the process easier and more straightforward.  For this reason, the Humanities and History Division has been working with Amy Nurnberger, Columbia University’s Research Data Manager, to introduce humanities scholars to some of the tools, resources, and best practices for managing research data.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Text and Image Scanning and Machine Reading (OCR)
at the Digital Humanities Center

The Digital Humanities Center’s computer lab (DHC) in 305 Butler provides Columbia students, faculty, and staff with 10 scanners for copying images and copying and reading texts in a vets.2008-04-30.DSC_9678ariety of forms – books, loose pages, photographs, slides, negatives, microfilm, microfiche, and microprint.   (Visitors can take advantage of four public canners, one in room 300, another in room 304, and two more in room 401.) The reading process for texts, known as optical character recognition (OCR), which is implemented by default when one scans, results in output that can be searched, annotated, extracted, and edited, greatly enhancing its value as a tool for research and learning.   The powerful Abbyy FineReader OCR software available at the DHC can produce highly accurate text for most of the world’s languages, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and the DHC is in the process of closing the few remaining gaps by acquiring software for reading languages in South Asian and Arabic alphabets.

Five large-format 14 x 17 inch Fujitsu scanners can easily accommodate most book sizes as well as large stacks of loose sheets, enabling a user to create a pdf from a 300-page book in just about half an hour. An overhead Minolta scanner can handle even larger formats (up to 18 x 24 inches) and is ideal for brittle material that might be harmed on a flatbed machine. Three smaller Fujitsu scanners are well suited for quickly scanning stacks of loose pages and outputting copies of documents using FineReader or Adobe Acrobat Professional, as well as for digitizing smaller-format books. All of the scanners can process images, but the two 14 x 17 Epson XL10000 scanners are optimal for producing quality high-density images of opaque or transparent material and are capable of handling multiple images at the same time. Finally, a ScanPro 2000 scanner can deal with most forms of microforms, and in the case of some microfilm, can be made to automatically process a series of images. Depending on the quality of the original, the resulting images of those microforms can often be successfully OCRed as well. (Two other ScanPro scanners are available in the Periodical Reading Room in 401 Butler.)

Printed guides for using each of these scanners are available at the DHC, and staff is on duty to train and assist you in your work. The lab is open Monday 11-6, Tuesday through Thursday 11-9, Friday 11-6, and Saturday and Sunday 12-6. If you would like to reserve a particular scanner in advance, you can do so by calling 212-854-7547 during opening hours.

New and Improved Databases: September 2015 to February 2016

New and Improved Databases
The following databases have either been newly acquired or improved since the last “New and Improved Databases” column was published in Humanities & History Division Newsletter (in our fifth issue, September 2015).


African American Communities (Adam Matthew)
“Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and towns and cities in North Carolina, this resource presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, correspondence, official records, reports and in-depth oral histories.”


Archives of the Presbyterian Church of Cuba Online (BrillOnline)
This collection makes available for research the records of the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC) and predecessor Presbyterian churches and missions in Cuba, including a complete run of Heraldo Cristiano, the church’s newsletter, 1919-2010, which provides a framework for the history of the church.

Colonial America (Adam Matthew)
Colonial America will be released in five modules, organized thematically. We currently have access to: Module 1: Early Settlement, Expansion and Rivalries. This first module documents the early history of the colonies, and includes founding charters, material on the effects of 1688’s Glorious Revolution in North America, records of piracy and seaborne rivalry with the French and Spanish, and copious military material from the French and Indian War of 1756-63. New modules are scheduled for publication annually through 2019, at which point Colonial America will be complete. The complete database will consist of all 1,450 volumes of the CO 5 series of Colonial Office files held at The National Archives in London, plus all extracted documents associated with them.

Drama Online (Bloomsbury Publishing)
For description see: Featured Resource: Drama Online

The John Johnson Collection : An Archive of Printed Ephemera (ProQuest)
“This collection provides access to thousands of items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Categories include Nineteenth-Century Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions, and Advertising.”

Migration to New Worlds (Adam Matthew)
Migration to New Worlds explores the movement of peoples from Great Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and Asia to the New World and Australasia. This first module concentrates on the period 1800 to 1924 and covers all aspects of the migration experience, from departures to arrival and permanent settlement. Includes letter collections, travel journals, diaries, audio files of oral histories, scrapbooks, government papers, and many other types of materials.

Wan Qing qi kan quan wen shu ju ku (1833-1911) = The late Qing dynasty periodical full-text database (1833-1911)
The full-text database covers over 280,000 pieces of historical documents from 302 periodicals published during 1833-1911. The extensive collection has covered almost all the periodicals published during such critical periods later known as the Opium Wars, Westernization Movement, Reform Movement of 1898 and Revolution of 1911.


The following databases have been improved by the addition of substantial new content.

Archives Unbound (Gale)
Archives Unbound has been expanded by the addition of three modules:
1.  Country intelligence reports on China
2.  Political, economic, and military conditions in China: reports and correspondence of the U.S.
Military Intelligence Division, 1918-1941
3.  Records of the U.S. Information Service in China: Chinese press reviews and summaries, 1944-1950

Christian Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History (BrillOnline)
Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, is a general online history of relations between the two faiths as represented in works written by Christians and Muslims about the other and against the other. It has recently been expanded by the addition of Part II, which covers all parts of the world in the period 1500-1914.

Early European Books: Printed Sources to 1700  (ProQuest)
This resource has been enhanced by the addition of  Collection 2, which contains early printed volumes from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (National Central Library of Florence). Collection highlights include more than 770 editions printed by Aldo Manutius and the Aldine Press, founded in Venice in 1495; marginal notes written by Galileo on his own personal copies of works by Euclid, Petrarch, Ariosto, Tasso and Horace; rare first editions of the works of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio; volumes by the controversial preacher Girolamo Savonarola; and over 780 16th- and 17th-century editions of sacre rappresentazioni, popular verse plays depicting Biblical scenes, episodes from the lives of the saints and Christian legends.


Music Online: Classical Scores Library (Alexander Street Press)
Volume IV has recently been added to the existing database. Music Online: Classical Scores Library is a series of four volumes with a mission to provide a reliable and authoritative source for scores of the classical canon, as well as a resource for the discovery of lesser-known contemporary works. The collections encompass all major classical musical genres and time periods from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers
This resource now allows you to search across 35 newspapers. These include seven titles newly available at Columbia, each of which may also be searched individually through its own database link:
Austin American Statesman (1871-1976)
Detroit Free Press (1831-1922)
Hartford Courant (1764-1990)
Louisville Courier Journal (1830-1922)
Nashville Tennessean (1812-1922)
Newsday (1940-1987)
St. Louis Post Dispatch (1874-1922)

ProQuest History Vault. Southern Life and African American History, 1775-1915, Plantations Records.
This resource has been enhanced by the addition of Part 2. The records presented in Part 2 come from the holdings of the University of Virginia and Duke University. This database includes content from two microform series: Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War and Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration.

–Blogpost compiled by: Anice Mills and John Tofanelli

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

2-1-2016 4-55-58 PM

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.

Drama Online

Featured Resource: Drama Online

Drama Online is an exceptional collection of digital texts, images, audio, and video that together meet the full range of teaching needs for theatre studies.

A product from Bloomsbury Publishing, the foundation of this resource is comprised of the core collection featuring 1200 titles from Bloomsbury’s Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare Series, and Faber and Faber. There are production photos from the Victoria and Albert Museum Performance Archive and the American Shakespeare Center. The dramatic works span the Greek Classics to modern drama with an international roster of major playwrights represented. Also included are essential foreign works in translation. There are critical texts and short biographies for playwrights. Navigating the resource is simple and direct. A variety of access points to the content are provided enabling a search by either play titles, playwrights, genres, periods, or context and criticism.

In addition to the core collection, the most recent additions include approximately 400 titles from Nick Hern Books, one of the UK’s leading performing arts publishers, and video content from the Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen Film Collection. This video collection launched with twenty one stage productions recorded live on the Globe stage and now presented in high definition and surround sound. Productions feature outstanding performances from Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, and Roger Allam.

Drama Online is a dynamic resource and an exciting addition to our library collection. You can access the resource through our Databases search from the Columbia University Library website. If you have questions about Drama Online, feel free to contact Nancy Friedland (, Librarian for Film Studies and Performing Arts.

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