Author Archives: Kimberly Springer

About Kimberly Springer

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

Now Showing | Ilia Zdanevich: The Tbilisi Years

Chang Octagon Gallery | 7 March – 12 July 2019

Tbilisi, Ilia Zdanevich’s hometown, became a haven for artists of all stripes during the Russian Civil War. In this multi-lingual environment where feuds among artistic schools had been suspended, Zdanevich worked out the principles of “mature” zaum and a corresponding approach to book design.

This exhibition, curated by Thomas J. Kitson, begins before the First World War with Zdanevich’s apprenticeship as a propagandist for the Larionov group in competition with Futurist rivals and proceeds through masterworks he designed and typeset as a founding member of 41°.

We include a selection of works by his brother and collaborator, Kirill, and a display of interconnected items associated with other poets, composers, and visual artists who frequented the Fantastic Tavern, center of Tbilisi artistic life between 1917 and 1920.

The exhibition is part of “Displacement and Display: The Ongoing Revolutions of Ilia Zdanevich,” a Global Humanities project led by Professor Valentina Izmirlieva (Slavic Department) and sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Humanities at Columbia University.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by the Bakhmeteff Archive of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Global Studies unit of Columbia University Libraries

Talks & Workshops | Oral History and the Future: Archives and Embodied Memory

The Oral History Master of Arts Program is pleased to announce the spring portion of its 2018-2019 workshop series: Oral History and the Future: Archives and Embodied Memory

Oral history is a conversation about the past that takes place in the present and is oriented towards the future. How is this future orientation made real?

Oral history as a research practice, particularly in the United States, has been defined by a focus on recording and archiving in institutional repositories. But people can be archives too, and oral history-telling practices more broadly often depend on embodied memory, on person-to-person transmission. And because people have been formally recording and archiving oral histories for over seventy years, we are now living in the futures imagined by earlier generations of oral historians.

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Summer Institute in Oral History announced

The Columbia Center for Oral History Research’s 2019 Summer Institute in Oral History will focus on the challenges we face in documenting the political present when secrecy and distortions of truth threaten the most vulnerable in open societies.

What role does public memory and the search for meaning play in rescuing and preserving the stories that we most need to hear?

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Have students really changed that much since the 1800s?

Amidst older generations’ ritual grousing about the younger ones, despairing the lifestyle choices, learning habits, political commitments and foodways of the Millennial generation has reached a fever pitch.

In defense of students today, historian and “recovering academic,” Jenny Bann shared findings from her research that shows students have never been academic angels.

Have a look at Bann’s post to Twitter about student highjinx in the 18th century.

Browse digitized Columbia University publications for evidence closer to home that — across generations —  students will be students.

P.S. Avocado toast is delicious

 

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

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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