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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CFP: In Service to the New Nation: The Life and Legacy of John Jay

The John Jay Papers Project seeks paper proposals for a conference entitled “In Service to the New Nation: The Life and Legacy of John Jay,” to be held on September 24-25, 2020, at Columbia University. Dr. Joanne Freeman, Professor of American History at Yale University, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. The conference coincides […]

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Lo and behold: a new finding aid for the Wellington Koo Papers

Processing collections and creating finding aids according to updated archival standards gives RBML archivists the opportunity to discover anew our collections. In this post, Processing Archivist Yingwen Huang reflects on creating a new finding aid for the heavily used Wellington Koo Papers. Wellington Koo, a graduate of Columbia and a prominent statesman and diplomat from […]

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RBML’s copy of rare Galileo text appears in PBS’s Secrets of the Dead

Perhaps you saw a familiar place in PBS’s new program on the forgery of the Galileo Sidereus Nuncius? Segments of the show Secrets of the Dead: Galileo’s Moon were filmed here in the RBML. You’ll also be able to see mathematician David Eugene Smith’s true copy of Sidereus Nuncius, which is in the RBML collections. It turns […]

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Librarian Jane Siegel picks favorites from the RBML collections

The Current, a journal of contemporary politics, culture, and Jewish affairs at Columbia, stopped in to the RBML to speak with Jane Siegel, Librarian for Rare Books. She’s all-around fount of knowledge about how so many of our rarities and oddities came to reside in Butler Library. Read more about Jane’s career here in the […]

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