Event | Experimental Design Workshop

Friday, January 26th, 2018, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Join the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE), home to the Columbia Center for Oral History Research Office, for an Experimental Design Workshop. The workshop will feature two presentations: Kate Khanna on “The Intersectional Nature of Masculinity: Social Class Threat and the Dynamic Nature of Gender Attitudes” and Tiffany J. Huang presenting, “Investigating the Relationship between Perceptions of Intraracial and Interracial Commonality Using Experimental Priming.”

CCOHR logo

The Experimental Design Workshop is free and open to the public.

Increasing visibility of the Muslim world

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), recently awarded Columbia University and its peer institutions — The Free Library of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and Bryn Mawr College — $500,000 to digitize Islamic manuscripts and paintings dating from 1000 to 1900.

“Arising from an extraordinary confluence of collecting foresight, scholarly curiosity, and shared expertise, this project shows the modern academic library at its very best,” said Sean Quimby, Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Learn more about our Manuscripts of the Muslim World project from Columbia University Library’s news site.

Experience the 1968 student protests in real time on Twitter

1968 protests at ColumbiaTo commemorate the student-led protests at Columbia in 1968, University Archives is re-telling the events, 50 years on, by harnessing the fast pace and vast reach of modern journalism: what if campus media, like the Columbia Spectator, had Twitter to report on the protests and rallies of 1968? Follow @1968CU on Twitter this spring as the demonstrations unfold – and tensions on campus escalate – through minute-by-minute reporting of a significant moment in Columbia University history.

Event | The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America

Jan. 23, 6pm, Butler Library, Room 203

Author and history professor John Macmillian

A talk by John McMillian on the role of the underground press in the 1960s, with a focus on coverage of the Columbia student protests of 1968. McMillian is an Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University, and the author of Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, and co-editor of The Radical Reader and The New Left Revisited.

After the discussion, there will be a reception in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library to celebrate the opening of “1968: The Global Revolutions,” an exhibition in the Kempner Gallery.

Co-sponsored by the Grolier Club, and the Lehman Center for American History. All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required; please search for event title or “RBML” on the Columbia University Events page. 



Marking the 50th anniversary of 1968’s youthquake

Paris image from 1968 female protestor with red flagFrom January through June 2018, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University will be sponsoring a range of programs to commemorate and discuss the fiftieth anniversary of the global revolutions, uprisings, and repressions, of 1968.

This spring RBML’s Dr. Thai Jones, Curator for American history, has scheduled a number of events designed for reflection and re-evaluation of the legacy of 1968.

Events include a discussion of underground media, a panel to launch a new book on Columbia ’68, a weekend conference to consider new scholarship on the sixties, and a semester-long exhibition in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Watch this blog, check out our the RBML events calendar or sign up for the RBML newsletter on this page for updates.

All events are free and open to the public. Registration is required; please search for event title or “RBML” on the Columbia University Events page. 

New exhibition | 1968: The Global Revolutions

Visit our new exhibition, “1968: The Global Revolutions,” in the RBML’s Kempner Gallery on the sixth floor of Butler Library.

New! Oral history testimony about conflicts in Chechnya and Nagorno-Karabakh are available

Thomas de Waal’s interview project started as most good oral history and archival projects do: with the unearthing of an object that triggers memories and curiosity. This time it was a box of dusty cassettes.

Arthur Mitchell: a trailblazing exhibition for a trailblazing leader in American Dance

mitchell illustration detail of Michael D. Harris’s “Aspirations + Inspiration” (1985)

A detail of Michael D. Harris’s “Aspirations + Inspiration” (1985), from the exhibition “Arthur Miller: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer.” Credit: Arthur Mitchell Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University

The highly anticipated exhibition, Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer, launches January 12, 2018 with a reception at The Wallach Art Gallery at the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

“I am a political activist through dance.”

Curated by Lynn Garafola, Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College, the exhibition celebrates the life and accomplishments Arthur Mitchell, the New York City Ballet’s first African American star, and the founder and longtime director of the Dance Theater of Harlem.

colorful puzzle of dancers, historic landmarks

A eight-foot-long Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle, created by Frank Bara in 1991.

Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer will feature objects from Mitchell’s archive, including the telegram from Lincoln Kirstein to Mitchell inviting him to join the New York City Ballet, photographs of Mitchell and fellow dancers by Anthony Crickmay, Peter Basch, Martha Swope and Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), and an eight-foot-long Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle, created by Frank Bara in 1991, that chronicles the first two decades of the company’s history with illustrative detail of its artists, heroes and friends. Dancer Charmaine Hunter’s costume and headpiece designed by Geoffrey Holder for Firebird (1982), one of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s signature works, will be on view, as well as performance footage from the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division and elsewhere.

Read more about Mr. Mitchell, the exhibition and his lasting dance legacy in The New York Times, “Arthur Mitchell, Ballet’s ‘Grandfather of Diversity” (January 5, 2018).

Please join us on Friday, January 12th from 6 to 8pm to mark the achievements of a legendary figure in dance history and the donation of his archives with the RBML. No booking necessary.

The New Museum is looking for a new Oral History Fellow!

This hybrid position would be an ideal fit for graduate students with an interest in oral history, Contemporary art, and digital humanities.  You can see the first phase of the project here. Please see the call below for details. BTW, the first fellow for this program completed the CCOHR master’s degree in oral history. The deadline is rapidly approaching but the New Museum is looking for just the right candidate. The search may extend beyond the stated deadline.

Spring 2018_Oral History Fellow_call

LGBTQ+ alumni oral histories from Columbia’s Center for Oral History Research

Columbia statue with "gay dance" poster in lap

Cover of Pride of Lions, vol. 1, no. 1, April 1972

Jamie Beckenstein, Project Coordinator for LGBTQ+ Columbia Oral Histories, shared a few of the themes that emerged from interviewing Columbia alums for the Columbia LGBTQ Oral History Project: 

We were correct to assume that Columbia’s location in Manhattan allowed narrators potential access to public queer worlds, but the ways that the narrators choose to access these worlds were different than we guessed in our blueprint..What was most significant in terms of linking the interviews, however, were themes of community and its inverse, isolation. Narrators spoke with such great care and love about their mentors, their peers, and their friends. They were often in awe and pride of the people that they met during their Columbia years who led them into careers, relationships, and full and fulfilling lives.

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