On World Refugee Day 2020 — Rohingyas

One of many current global refugee crises is that of the Rohingyas. A Muslim group long resident in Myanmar, many Rohingyas have been displaced as refugees to South Asia (and other regions), most especially Bangladesh and India. Rohingyas have also experienced lack of welcome in South Asian countries. While often viewed in news reports as a […]

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The MWM Project: An Interview with Shabbir Agha Abbas; Poring over Manuscripts for a broader and more vibrant understanding of Islamic Studies

This past week, I interviewed Shabbir Agha Abbas, a graduate student at Columbia University (MEI/MESAAS) working on Islamic Law and Shari’a Studies. Shabbir holds an MA in Religious Studies from Rutgers University and has been involved in the Muslim World Manuscript project, helping to catalog and describe manuscripts in the RBML collection. Our lively conversation, […]

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Celebrating Dr. Ambedkar’s Birthday and Legacy

Ambedkar Jayanti (Bimbhao Ambedkar’s  birthday), which takes place on April 14th, comes upon us this year in most unusual and harsh circumstances, when an enormous percentage of people across the planet is sheltered at home and the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the lives of tens of thousands. Under these unprecedented realities which expose the deeply […]

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Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Pop-Up Exhibition

      On Friday, February 28th, 2020, the Columbia University Libraries presented a pop-up exhibition at the Faculty House called “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here”, showcasing a newly acquired collection of artists’ books, broadsides and prints. The exhibition was held in conjunction with a two-day conference on Iraqi Studies, the first such conference in New […]

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The MWM Project: An Interview with Sadegh Ansari: Music as Science: Pythagoras in Baghdad

As part of a series of interviews with faculty, researchers and students who are participants in our Muslim World Manuscripts (MWM) project, I sat down with Sadegh Ansari, a graduate student in the Department of History at Columbia University, and asked him a few questions about his dissertation and his use of the MWM collection. […]

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December 10th: International Human Rights Day: an interview with Chris Laico, Archivist at RBML

  For the occasion of International Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10th every year, I sat down with Chris Laico, Archivist at RBML, who along with Catherine Carson Ricciardi and  Carrie Smith*, is responsible for processing human rights related collections. I asked Chris a few questions about archives, human rights, his daily work, […]

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The MWM Project: Space, Text and Narrative: An interview with Dr. Manan Ahmed

Dr. Manan Ahmed is Associate Professor of History, and Member of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. Manan Ahmed ‘s areas of interest and specialization include Muslim intellectual history in South and Southeast Asia; critical philosophy of history, and material culture;  the relation between text, space and narrative with a special focus on […]

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Columbia Receives Early Slavic Books and Manuscripts from Alumnus Franklin A. Sciacca

In 2019, Columbia has received a large portion of the personal library and realia collection assembled by Hamilton College Professor Emeritus Franklin A. Sciacca (Columbia BA and PhD).  The collection consists of Early printed Apostol from the Sciacca Collection approximately 162 items, of which the majority are now located in the Bakhmeteff Archive, Rare Books […]

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South Asia Open Archives (SAOA) Launched

The South Asia Open Archives (SAOA) was launched on Friday, October 18th, in conjunction with the Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, Wisconsin. A collaborative initiative of (currently 22) US libraries and (currently 4) partners from South Asia, SAOA is administratively hosted by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and available globally open access […]

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