Author Archives: Kimberly Springer

About Kimberly Springer

Curator of Oral History Oral History Archives at Columbia Rare Book & Manuscript Library Columbia University

Want to learn about oral history?

January 26 | Location: Columbia University, Knox Hall

Photo by Vanilla Bear Films on Unsplash

Looking to learn something new in the new year? Join the Oral History Master’s (OHMA) program for an intensive day of workshops with OHMA faculty and alumni! Register now – these always sell out!

OHMA will also be hosting their annual Spring Open House that very same week on the evening of Thursday, January 24, 2019! The Oral History Archives at Columbia often accepts stellar oral history projects from OHMA students that align with our current collecting priorities. The OHMA open house is a good opportunity to explore the research, teaching and employment opportunities in a field that keeps gaining in its methodological strength and topical inclusiveness.

ICYMI: 2018 News from RBML

We’re proud to say that it’s been a big year for RBML with new staff additions, new collections opened, records updated for better access and fine-tuning operations to make the collections needed for your teaching and research available.

Here are just a few of the highlights.

New head of archives Kevin Schlottman and the RBML’s team of crack archivists opened many new collections for researcher use and updated descriptions to make them accessible. You can see what’s available every month by signing up for notifications on our homepage.

In Jewish Studies, a gift of about 200 items, including handwritten materials from the 14th to the 20th centuries, filled in existing gaps in the Judaica collections.

The RBML and Columbia’s Preservation and Digital Conversion Division were pleased to be awarded a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant to preserve broadcaster Bob Fass’ recordings from the 1960s and ’70s. We, along with select peer institutions, also received a CLIR grant to digitize Islamic manuscripts and paintings dating from 1000 to 1900.

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Marking World AIDS Day with oral histories from the collections

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On December 1, health care practitioners, among others, are recognizing World AIDS Day. The goal is to bring awareness to the fact that AIDS and HIV remain a global pandemic. This year’s theme is “Know Your Status.”

World AIDS Day BadgeFor some historical perspective on the AIDS crisis, we had look at a few of the 74 interviews that make up the Physicians and AIDS oral history project housed in the RBML. About the project,

To construct a collective biography of the early AIDS doctors, Ronald Bayer, Columbia University professor of public health, and Gerald Oppenheimer, associate professor of clinical public health, turned to oral history. After extensive preparation, interviewing, and editing, they published AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic, an historical account of the epidemic through the eyes of the doctors who experienced it.

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New Exhibition | Dynamic Archives: renaming and identifying collections

Why would an archivist change the name of a collection? That’s the central question behind a new RBML exhibit.

Dynamic Archives features examples of archival collections and materials whose naming, identifying and meaning have had to keep up with historical, social and political perspectives, as well as translation practices and epistemologies. Continue reading

Newly available and updated RBML finding aids, October 2018

Head Archivist Kevin Schlottmann shares collections newly opened by RBML archivists

 

Dennis Ryan Editorial Cartoon collection, 1873-2010
“Dennis B. Ryan began collecting cartoons in the early 1980s,
ultimately focusing on cartons related to moments and topics of
significance in American history, or on topics of personal interest.”
This collection contains 2071 items, described and housed at the item
level. *Tremendous credit goes to Cathy Ricciardi for seeing this
project to completion.

Black Journalists oral history collection, list of all interviews
A major oral history collection has been cataloged:
“The Black Journalists oral history collection’s ninety-three
interviews document the history of the African American press from the
late nineteenth century to the time that the interviews were taken in
the early 1970s, with a particular focus on the 1930s-1960s.”

Chinese collections
A series of collections containing Chinese or associated with China
have been processed and/or improved. Chief among them are the records
of the Chinese Oral History project.

Chinese Oral History Project records
These are the records of the project itself. The finalized memoirs
and related archival material have all now been cataloged separately
(see: related materials).
* Please let us know if you encounter any difficulties finding materials
related to this collection; it has been significantly reorganized to
make it easier to access.

William Henry Donald correspondence
“The William Henry Donald papers primarily consist of correspondence
between William Henry Donald (1875- 1946) and his friend, Harold K.
Hochschild (1892-1981) where he described about his work in China, his
involvement in the Xi’an Incident, and his life later in the Pacific
Islands and return to China.”

Quincy Wright papers
“The Quincy Wright papers primarily consist of materials related to
Asia collected by Quincy Wright during his tenure at the University of
Chicago, dating from 1926 to 1952. The materials provide a wealth of
information about China before and during the Sino-Japanese War as
well as its political situation during that period. ”

Benjamin Waugh papers
“The Benjamin Waugh papers mainly consist of photographs that
documented the National Revolution Army’s Northern Expedition in
various northern cities in China dating from 1927 to 1928.”

Chao-hao Wu letters
“The Zhaohao Wu letters mainly consist of twenty-eight handwritten
letters from Zhaohao Wu and others in Germany and in Moscow to his
younger brother Zhaofa Wu in the U.S. between 1923 and 1929.”

Chiu Chang-Wei correspondence
“The Chiu Chang-Wei correspondence consists of outgoing correspondence
and telegrams drafts by Chiu and incoming correspondence relating to
the Acting President of the Republic of China, Li Zongren, dating from
1949 to 1950 and the move of the Chinese Republican government to
Taiwan. ”

Zhang Fakui papers
“he Zhang Fakui papers emphasize General Zhang’s military career as
the prominent Chinese Nationalist General during the important years
of the Sino-Japanese War”

Chen Lifu papers
“The Chen Lifu papers mainly document his involvement in Chinese
politics during the Republican era, dating from 1926 to 1989, with the
bulk dates from 1926 to 1951.”

H.H. Kung papers
“The H. H. Kung papers document Dr. Kung’s political career from 1936
to 1944. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence and
political documents during the time when he was serving as the
Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Central Bank of China, and
the Vice Premier of the Executive Yuan.”

Collection on Liu Ruiheng
“The collection on Dr. Liu Ruiheng consist of primary and secondary
source materials on his medical education abroad and his career at the
PUMC as well as other materials relating to medical education in China
before and during the Sino-Japanese War, mostly dating from 1922 to
1946.”

Huang Fu papers
“The Huang Fu papers consist of materials relating to Huang Fu’s
political involvement in the early revolutions, the Coup d’etat of
1924, the Nanking Incident, the Jinan Incident, the Tanggu Truce
settlement and its aftermath, dating mostly from 1913 to 1945”

Hu Chuan and Hu Shih papers
“The Hu Chuan and Hu Shih papers documented the life of Hu Chuan as a
civil official of the Qing Imperial Court, as well as the life of his
son, Hu Shih, who later became an eminent Chinese philosopher,
essayist, educator, scholar, and diplomat of the 20th century.”

Tingfu Tsiang papers
“The Tingfu Tsiang papers contains materials relating to Dr. Tsiang’s
life and his career as a Representative to the United Nations and an
Ambassador to the United States, between 1942 and 1965. ”

*Our two “John Berryman Papers” collections were renamed to differentiate them:

Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records, 1982-1992
“The Bradley Commission on History in Schools Records contain the
commission’s administrative records and materials related to the
process of creating and sharing guidelines for elementary and
secondary school history education in the United States from
1982-1992. Many of these materials were created by Elaine Wrisley
Reed, administrative director, Kenneth Jackson, chair, and the sixteen
members of the commission.”

Old-school Columbia freshman fashion

young white men in beanies on college campus

Freshmen students in beanies leaving a building on campus. Source: Historical Photograph Collection, Columbia University Archives.

“Never neglect to say ‘hello’ to a man who wears a Freshman cap, whether you know his name or not.” – Columbia Blue Book, 1917-18

Proudly worn as symbols of a freshman’s distinctive but lowly position on campus, these caps helped the new classmates forge a close allegiance amongst themselves and against their greatest detractors: the sophomores. The wearing of the beanies was mandatory and a bareheaded freshman was an outrage to sophomores. The 1927-28 Columbia Blue Book (a handbook for first year students) contained freshman rules – including the requirement to wear your freshman cap at all times – and noted that rule-breakers would be “summarily dealt with.”

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Workshop | Explore oral history and the future with CCOHR

library aisle of books

Our colleagues over in the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) will host series of workshops on Oral History and the Future. The sessions are centered around the question, “How is this future orientation made real?”

Read more about the series and see the list of presenters coming to campus this fall. 

September 13, 2018, 6:10 – 7:30 PM
Pan Dulce: Breaking Bread with the Past 
Maria Cotera

October 4, 2018, 6:10 – 7:30 PM
The Uses of Narrative in Organizing for Social Justice
Sujatha Fernandes

October 18, 2018, 6:10 – 7:30 PM
Confessions of an Accidental Oral Historian, Archivist, and Podcaster
Eric Marcus

November 1, 2018, 6:10 – 7:30 PM
Accelerating Change: Oral History, Innovation, and Impact
Doug Boyd

November 29, 2018, 6:10 – 7:30 PM
Words Transmitted; Worlds Apart
Fernanda Espinosa