On Outdated and Harmful Language in Library of Congress Subject Headings

  Note: We always welcome corrections and other feedback on our finding aids. Please contact us at rbml@library.columbia.edu if you notice anything in a finding aid, including a subject heading, that needs attention. A colleague recently asked an excellent question:  why do the subject headings in our finding aids frequently use outdated terminology? It seems […]

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Two ancient papyrus fragments and their very modern reunion

Sheet of papyrus containing writing in Greek

For us at RBML, this has been a year of facilitating many virtual encounters with rare materials, from remote teaching and consultations to publication of digital and digitized materials on Columbia’s Digital Library Collections (DLC). And to that we may now add virtual reunions of rare materials! For nearly a century, RBML’s Papyrus Collection has […]

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Microfilm?! Digitizing an old medium yields new discoveries

For many years, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library has been working with the National Library of Israel’s Manuscripts Department to include our digitized Hebrew manuscripts in KTIV, the International Database of Hebrew Manuscripts.  In the 1970s, Columbia Libraries created microfilms for about 700 of the Judaica manuscripts in its collection as part of a […]

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News from the RBML’s Archivists and Collections Management Specialists | November 2020

New Collections Geraldine De Courcy papers, 1958-1985 “This is a small collection of research work consisting of correspondence and copies of materials collected by Geraldine De Courcy for her published biography of Paganini and for her unpublished biography of Joachim. The papers also give details of the problems that followed her death, given that her […]

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Chinese Telegraphic Codebooks and Cryptography

The Chinese codebooks were essential tools for encoding and decoding confidential messages in the age of telegraphic communication under the Chinese Nationalist governance. Messages exchanged between high level officials were often encoded to prevent information leaks. Unlike the codes in English, one might wonder how the Chinese encoded telegrams as its writing system is entirely […]

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