Monthly Archives: March 2013

Trial of Encyclopaedia Islamica Online

We have arranged for trial access to Encyclopaedia Islamica Online from Brill.

"Encyclopaedia Islamica Online is based on the abridged and edited translation of the Persian Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī, one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world. A unique feature of the encyclopaedia Islamica Online lies in the attention given to Shiʿi Islam and its rich and diverse heritage. In addition to providing entries on important themes, subjects and personages in Islam generally, Encyclopaedia Islamica Online offers the Western reader an opportunity to appreciate the various dimensions of Shiʿi Islam, the Persian contribution to Islamic civilization, and the spiritual dimensions of the Islamic tradition."

The trial will run through April 28, 2013.
Please send comments to Peter Magierski (pm2650@columbia.edu)

Guatemala, Human Rights, and the Documentary Trail

Cover of Memory of Silence b Daniel RothenbergToday marks the opening of the trial of Efraín Ríos Montt, former Guatemalan army general and dictator, who is being charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.   Guatemala's truth commission report, issued in 1999, put the death toll at 200,000 during the course of an almost 40-year civil war. In a press release, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated   "This is the first time, anywhere in the world, that a former head of State is being put on trial for genocide by a national tribunal.”  The prosecution will turn to an extensive body of documentation, including military records, government documents, and the testimony of 142 witnesses in making its case. It is the exception and not the rule to see so much documentation survive a conflict.

Columbia Libraries and its Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research (CHRDR) provide a gateway to learning about and researching this conflict and the transitional justice process now unfolding.  Some recommended resources:

Recommended subject searches in our library catalog, CLIO Beta:

Beyond Columbia Libraries:

Follow the trial which is projected to last into the summer:
Twitter:  #RiosMontt, #GenocideGT and @NISGUA_Guate  @PzPenVivo (Plaza Pública)  and @ReedBrody (HRW)

Crowdsourcing for Yiddish transcription/translation

As anyone who has done research using Yiddish newspapers can tell you, it's not easy to find primary sources, especially those from newspapers, in the digital world.  While Yiddish newspapers contain critical information about the labor industry, immigration, the Jewish day-to-day environment, and so much else, finding these materials is not easy, and often requires endless searches through microfilm or brittle newspapers.

The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives at Cornell University and the Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick, however, have taken impressive action to begin to make these materials available.  Realizing that transcribing and/or translating Yiddish newspapers is no quick task, they have turned to crowdsourcing in order to publish online important papers relating to the Jewish garment workers in 19th and 20th century USA and UK.

Among the newspapers they are working with are The Polish Yidel (1884-1886), Hashulamith. (1891-1895), and The Ladies' Garment Worker. (1910-1918).  One must register for an account to begin translating, but people have already been translating and transcribing!  See here for the full list of scanned pages from the Polish Yidel, for example; (P) indicates a partially completed page; (C) indicates that the page has been completed

Now this is something we can all learn from!

(Crossposted at Jewish Studies @ CUL)

The 400th Anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty Marked at Columbia University Libraries

Last month, Columbia University Libraries hosted “In Search of Empire: The 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanov,” an international conference that drew standing room only crowds to Room 203 Butler Library.

Organized by Professor Irina Reyfman of the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, and Bakhmeteff Archive Curator Tanya Chebotarev, the conference was the first of many in commemoration of the Romanovs during this anniversary year.  The conference program may be found at http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/rbml/units/bakhmeteff/news.html

The conference also marked the opening of  “The Quartercentenary of the House of Romanov,” an exhibition organized by Ms. Chebotarev.   Located in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s Kempner Galleries, the exhibit ranges from works on paper—such as a 17th century tsarist charter issued by the first Romanov Tsar, or the coronation album of Empress Elizabeth—to ephemera, such as a delicate parasol used by the last Empress, Aleksandra Fedorovna.  The exhibit runs until June 28.  See: http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/rbml/exhibitions/current.html

The Columbia conference, as well as others planned elsewhere were touched upon in Eve M. Kahn’s New York Times article “The Romanov legacy Finds New Life,” March 7, p. C28.  The article quotes Ms. Chebotarev, as well as conference presenters Edward Kasinec (Harriman Institute, Columbia) and Fr. Vladimir von Tsurikov (Holy Trinity Monastery).

The Bolivarian Revolution and the future of Venezuela

With the death of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela faces an unpredictable future. I invite researchers interested in exploring Venezuela's recent political history and current affairs to dig deeper using Columbia University Libraries resources:

EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit)
Get the latest country report and country profile of Venezuela. Also, browse the online archive of these weekly, monthly and annual reports.

Emerging Markets Information Service (EMIS)
Full-text news from Latin America, including government publications, and political, economic and financial sources.

Factiva
Full-text current and archival news sources, including Latin American news sources such as "El Nacional" from Caracas.

HAPI (Hispanic American Periodicals Index)
Use this index to citations from over 500 Latin American studies journals (with links to full-text articles) to identify scholarly articles on your topic. Coverage: 1970 to the present.

Explore CLIO efficiently using Subject Headings. Instead of a keyword search, simply search by "Subject":

  • Chávez Frías, Hugo
  • Democracy–Venezuela
  • Populism–Venezuela
  • Political Parties–Venezuela
  • Presidents–Venezuela
  • Elections–Venezuela
  • Venezuela–Politics and Government, 1999-
  • Venezuela–Politics and government–1974-1999
  • Venezuela–Foreign relations–United States