Category Archives: Archival Collections

VOXGOV: New Database at the Libraries

A discovery platform with a wealth of analytics providing fast and reliable access to unfiltered original source news, media and information direct from all branches of the U.S. Federal Government. Voxgov enables researchers to easily find who in government is saying what and when on any subject throughout all phases of the political, legislative, and regulatory process.

Voxgov harvests nearly 9,500 U.S. Government web locations multiple times daily with new sites being continually added. In addition to an archive of over 9 million U.S. data files, voxgov adds an average of more than 13,000 files daily drawn from U.S. Government newsrooms (including: press releases, speeches, transcripts, stories, columns, etc.), Congressional Record, Federal Register and social media outlets, such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Newspaper Databases

Looking for current newspaper sources? The following databases provide access to local and foreign newspapers:

  • Factiva — a searchable collection of sources including English and non-English newspapers, wire services, and more.
  • Lexis Nexis — a searchable collection of over 18,000 sources including English and non-English newspapers, wire services, transcripts of broadcasts, and more.
  • ProQuest Newspapers — a searchable collection from US national newspapers, international English-language newspapers, and/or selected regional/state newspapers.

Looking for a historical newspaper perspective?  The following databases allow you to search historical newspapers:

Can’t find what you need?  Contact us at for assistance!

The UNESCO Human Rights Exhibition, 1949-1953

Visualizing Universalism: The UNESCO Human Rights Exhibition, 1949-1953.

Symposium and exhibition sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights and the Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research.

When       Thursday, April 17, 10am – 6pm
Where      East Gallery, Buell Hall, 515 West 116th Street (map)
This event is free and open to the public.

Registry of Anthropological Data Wiki

A cutting-edge tool for the new era of anthropology and the 21st century anthropologist! The American Anthropological Association has announce the creation of a Wiki to help researchers share and locate anthropological source materials.
Already the wiki houses information on fascinating research such as the Khipu Database and the Tsimane Amazonian Panel Study. If you have ethnographic or anthropological source materials you would like people to know about, such as information about the location of field notes, photographs, sound recordings, and other primary sources, then add it to the wiki and help others benefit.

1940 Census Records Released

Today the National Archives has released the complete digitized records for the 1940 census. These records are the actual questionnaires, with the answers provided by households, used in the 1940 Census of Population and Housing. By law these records are kept confidential for a period of 72 years. If you are interested in looking at how some of your relatives answered census questions in 1940, start with a Research Guide from the Archives, which includes a FAQ, background information, the questions asked in the 1940 census, finding aids, videos, and more.

Of course the data from the 1940 census has been available for decades. Information on census data 1790-2010 can be found using the Libraries’ subject guide, Decennial Census Information at Columbia University Libraries. For more information on actual census records through 1940, use the Ancestry Library database.



Today is the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. According to a Pew Research Center poll, 97% of Americans aged eight or older at the time of the event remember exactly where they were when it happened. The Columbia University Libraries has two websites about the destruction of the World Trade Center and its aftermath. For official government documents about the attack, you can use the research guide, The World Trade Center Attack: the Official Documents. For ind-depth interviews with people most directly affected by the attack, visit the website for the 9/11 Oral History Project. A new book has been published based on these interviews, After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 2011 and the Years That Followed.




Homeland Security Digital Library and 9/11


As we approach the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, you may want to find research materials related to the attack or to homeland security in general. One excellent source is the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL), which is maintained by the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security. The HSDL contains over 92,700 documents related to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management from a wide variety of sources including federal, state and local governments; international governments and institutions; nonprofit organizations and private entities. It currently features a number of items commemorating 9/11 as well as key policy and strategy documents, including national strategy documents, presidential directives, key legislation, executive orders and Congressional Research Service reports.


The Pentagon Papers Declassified


Forty years ago, parts of a document entitled "Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force" were leaked to news media and printed by the Washington Post and the New York Times as the Pentagon Papers. The original report, commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967, was printed in only 15 copies. The leaked version provoked one of the most significant first amendment court cases in U.S. history. Now, to mark the 40th anniversary of the leak, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has released the complete, declassified, unredacted version of the Pentagon Papers, all 47 volumes, 7000 pages of it.

NARA compiled the digital version from copies held in the presidential libraries of John F. Kennedy (Robert McNamara’s copy), Lyndon B. Johnson (Clark Clifford’s copy)  and Richard Nixon (unidentified copy). NARA estimates that approximately 34% of the material is available for the first time.



You can read more about the Pentagon Papers and related materials at this National Security Archive site.

Are These Official Federal Records??

AOTUS (the Archivist of the U.S.) blogged yesterday "Federal agencies’ Facebook posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, and tweets… are all of these Federal records?

Increasingly, Federal agencies are using web 2.0 and social media tools to quickly and effectively communicate with the public. These applications, sites, and tools encourage public participation and increase our ability to be more open and transparent. The informal tone of the content, however, should not be confused with insignificance. Agencies must comply with all records management laws, regulations, and policies when using web 2.0 and social media tools."

The National Archives is the place where America’s historical documents, like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Louisiana Purchase Treaty are stored and preserved, along with more mundane documents and records from all Federal agencies.

Should tweets receive the same respect and treatment?


Ethnographic Videos

Ethnographic Video Online provides more than 750 hours and 1,000 films on the study of human culture and behavior. The collection covers every region of the world and features classic and contemporary documentaries, as well as the work of previously unpublished footage from anthropologists and ethnographers in the field.