News from RBML’s Archivists and Collections Managers | July and August 2021

Hawk visiting Butler Library | 📸 Photo by Vianca Victor, RBML Public Services Specialist

Kevin Schlottmann, RBML’s head archivist, shares a selection of new and updated finding aids, as well as newly available collections.

Newly Digitized Archival Collections

If you missed the RBML blog post, note this wonderful story of how two papyri fragments at Columbia University Libraries (CUL) and the British Library were digitally reunited.  All credit to our Emily Runde, Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Collections, CUL’s Preservation & Digital Conversion Division and Digital Library & Scholarship Technologies units for making this possible.

Newly reformatted audio-visual materials linked to finding aids include the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction records, 1914-2018 and the İlhan Mimaroğ̆lu Papers, 1926-2012.




Newly Reformatted Oral Histories

The Thomas Iorio Stonewall Vets video recordings document LGBTQ culture and heritage in New York City in the mid-1990s. The footage has a mixture of oral history interviews and recorded events and activities. Major themes of the collection are the activities of the Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Association (SVA), the lives of unhoused LGBTQ individuals on the piers west of New York City, drag performance, and LGBTQ life in Manhattan in the 1990s. Figures featured include Sylvia Rivera, Williamson Lee Henderson (Willson Henderson), Stephen Van Cline, and Queen Allyson Ann Allante.

Black Labor Leaders oral history collection

Joseph Wilson was a professor in the Africana Studies Department and was Director of the Afro-American Labor Archives at Rutgers University. In the early 1980s, he began collecting audio interviews with Black labor leaders to address a lack of resources on Black workers in the United States. The collection documents the experiences of Black workers through interviews with leaders from public and private sector trade unions. Topics covered include union organizing and politics, radicalism, and the relationship of labor to the civil rights movement.

New York Financial Writers’ Association oral history collection

Interviews were conducted by the New York Financial Writers’ Association at the time of the organization’s 50th anniversary. John D. Williams, a board member of the Association, donated the tapes and transcripts to Columbia University’s Oral History Research Office in 1990.

Furriers Union oral history collection

The collection documents the memories of leaders and rank and file members of the Furriers Joint Council of New York. Recordings were collected by the student-interviewers in Professor Jack Salzman’s American history course at Hofstra University.

Tiffany Lectures

These lectures were held at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. The collection’s lectures address the relationship between design and business management, with emphasis on the value of design for corporate managers.

Arthur Levitt project

In these interviews, the career of Arthur Levitt (1900-1980) is recounted by family, friends and associates, with particular emphasis on his redefinition of the role and function of New York State Comptroller, a post which he occupied from 1954-1978.

Arthur Lichtenberger project

The interviews address the life and career of Bishop Arthur C. Lichtenberger (1900-1968), especially his period as Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States from 1959-1962.

Newly Processed Archival Collections

Lester Ziffren collection on Tauromachia, 1944-2007

“Assorted posters, periodicals, clippings, photos and correspondence that arrived together with a set of books cataloged into the RBML principal Rare Book collection under the Library of Congress classification. ”

Frank Bara collection, 1980s-1990s

“This small collection is related to the Arthur Mitchell Collection, and consists mainly of DTH publications, performance history, and puzzle maker Frank Bara’s drawings and other materials that he used to create the great Dance Theatre of Harlem 20th Anniversary Puzzle.”

William Neal Brown papers, 1930s-2012

“This collection documents the life and career of African-American social worker and educator William Neal Brown.”

Patricia Carpenter papers, 1940s-1980s

“Music theorist. From 1942 to 1949 she studied with Schoenberg, and in 1944 she gave the Los Angeles premiere of his Piano Concerto in the two-piano version. She was initially accepted into the composition program at Columbia University to study with Douglas Moore, and her compositions included several chamber and orchestra works. Under the supervision of Albert Hofstadter in philosophy and Paul Henry Lang in musicology, she embarked upon studies in the aesthetics and history of music.”

Jaroslav Šváb archive, 1928-1968

“Jaroslav Šváb (1906-1999) was a graphic artist, illustrator and typographer.”

Collections with Newly Processed Additions

Periodically, RBML’s curators review and accept (or find) additions to collections.  Our accessioning archivist Patrick Lawlor will typically process these as they arrive, and he recently processed additions to the Lawrence A. Cremin papers, the Women’s National Book Association records, the Arthur Mitchell papers, the Douglas S. Moore papers, the Anton Seidl collection, and the Roger Bagnall Papers.

Also noted: a few hundred 19th-century song sheets integrated into finding aid, as well as a small collection of 19th-century music periodicals for the Hunt-Berol Sheet Music Collection.

Updated Finding Aids

Sophie Kerr Papers, 1916-1964

“Sophie Kerr (1880-1965) was a novelist and short story writer. Ms. Kerr was one of the most successful and prolific authors in the age of entertainment writing that preceded the television era.”

  • Box and folder list created containing edited and enhanced description.

ESCO Fund Committee, Inc, 1941-1986

“A charitable foundation, established in 1940 by business executive and philanthropist Frank Cohen (1893-1959). It has contributed to cultural and educational projects in both the United States and Israel. Some of its activities have included: ESCO Music Center at Ein Gev, fellowships for composers and conductors at Tanglewood, and vitamins and shelters for British children during World War II.”

Jack Harris Samuels English and American Manuscripts and Letters Collection, [1630]-1964

“A collection of letters, manuscripts, proofs, and drawings of English and American authors.”

Felix Adler Papers, 1830-1933

“Felix Adler, religious leader and educator, taught courses in social and political ethics at Columbia between 1902 and 1933. The collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, notes, photographs, and printed materials.”