That is the question we hear a lot at the beginning of the new academic year as students explore Butler Library and end up here, in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, aka “The Pink Palace.”
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) is Columbia’s principal repository for primary source collections. The range of collections in the RBML spans more than 4,000 years and includes rare printed works, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, papyri, and Coptic ostraca; medieval and renaissance manuscripts; posters; art; comics & cartoons, and oral histories.
Forming the core of the collections: 500,000 printed books, 14 miles of manuscripts, personal papers, archives and records, and 10,000 (and counting) oral histories.
Head Archivist Kevin Schlottmann shares collections newly opened or updated by RBML’s Archivists.
New finding aids
Yehudah Joffe papers, 1893-1966, bulk 1920-1945
“The collection consists of Joffe’s correspondence, manuscripts/notes, and newspaper clippings. Joffe’s correspondence in Yiddish in English is both personal and professional, covering communication with institutions he was working at or hoping to work at. Joffe’s manuscripts contain drafts for lectures and notes on university seminars and lectures he attended under Prof. Roman Jakobson and others. Joffe’s newspaper clippings contain a selection of clippings relating to Prof. Peck, his undergraduate advisor, and miscellaneous clippings.
Agudath Israel Records, 1933-2008, bulk 1940-1947
” This collection consists of autograph signed letters, typed signed letters, postcards, telegrams, printed material, programs, newspaper clippings, and written public announcements pertaining to the Agudath Israel movement in America, Eretz Israel/Palestine, and Lithuania. Most materials are dated during the 1940s (wake of WWII). Most letters are addressed to Rabbi Aaron Ben Zion Shurin. The materials are mainly in Hebrew and English with some in Yiddish. Most materials concern the role of Orthodox Jewry in the wake of the Holocaust.”
Andrew Alpern Collection of Edward Gorey Materials
“A collection of original artwork, published books, printed ephemera, and branded merchandise by the writer and artist Edward Gorey (1925-2000), assembled by Andrew Alpern.”
27 March 2019 | 7:30pm | Lenfest Arts Center
This Rare Book & Manuscript Library event marks the opening of the The Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival hosted by Columbia University’s School of the Arts. It will feature James Naremore, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus, Indiana University.
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds the Cornell Woolrich Papers.
The festival’s themes is The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: Paris 1946 and American Film Noir and is curated by Rob King, Film and Media Studies.
Co-sponsored by the School of the Arts. RSVP is required.
Thursday, October 25, 2018, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
203 Butler Library
In conjunction with the exhibition “Florenz Ziegeld & Joseph Urban: Transforming Broadway,” Professor Arnold Aronson (School of the Arts) will discuss the legacy and contemporary relevance of Joseph Urban with Tony Award Winning Stage Designer Christine Jones (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
Christine Jones, 2018 Tony Award winner for Scenic Design for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One & Two, 2010 Tony Award winner for American Idiot, and designer of numerous other productions including the recent Las-Vegas themed Rigoletto for the Metropolitan Opera. Arnold Aronson, Professor of Theatre in Columbia’s School of the Arts, is a theatre historian with specializations in scenography and avant-garde theatre.He has been at Columbia since 1991.
This event is co-sponsored by the School of the Arts. RSVP is required.
A large addition to the New York Clearinghouse records was processed,
and the finding aid substantially improved: “New York Clearing House Association (now The Clearing House Association) was founded in 1853 as the first banking clearing house
in the United States. The records include amicus briefs, constitutions
and amendments, letter books, meeting minutes, financial ledgers and
statements, photographs, publications, and reports. ”
The finding aid for the Nicholas Murray Butler papers has been
encoded, with over 33,000 names of correspondents listed.
Columbia University Cuneiform Collection
“The collection consists of 625 cuneiform tablets (dating from circa
3100-539 BCE), and some ancient clay objects. Accompanying these are
some twentieth century casts, and a collection of catalogs of the
collection, articles about various parts, especially Plimpton 322, and
correspondence about the tablets, including a number of letters,
mostly from Edgar J. Banks, to George A. Plimpton, and others about
tablets now in the Columbia collection.”
A. J. A. Symons papers
“A small group of materials, chiefly consisting of English writer and
bibliographer A. J. A. Symons’ correspondence and records related to
the First Edition Club, which Symons founded in 1922. Stuart B.
Schimmel collected the materials.”
Susan Orlean papers
“This collection documents Orlean’s career as a writer and a
journalist, and also includes some personal materials and school
papers. The collection includes address books, appointment books,
audio recordings, clippings, computer files, contracts,
correspondence, drafts, interviews, notes, notebooks, photographs,
proofs, publications, research materials, school records, and video
recordings. ” Continue reading
Starting on September 17th: come see how Florenz Ziegfeld & Joseph Urban transformed Broadway!
This exhibition from RBML’s vast Joseph Urban archive, features a selection of original drawings, set models, and plans created by Urban for Florenz Ziegfeld. These included all but one of the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915 through 1931, the Midnight Frolics, and numerous other Broadway shows and plays, including Century Girl, Sally, Rio Rita, Smiles, Show Girl, and Show Boat.
A centerpiece of our exhibition, Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Trailblazer, is a dazzling, eight foot long puzzle.
Handcrafted and painted from wood, the puzzle details the DTH’s history, Mitchell’s influence, luminaries who’ve supported the company, landmark performances and homages to ballet casts.
As puzzle maker Frank Bara notes in a video tour of the puzzle, shot a number of years ago, the puzzle celebrates the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s 20th anniversary. He completed it in 1989.
In this short video clip, Bara also explains the many “easter eggs” contained in the puzzle, if you’re lucky enough to get up close and personal with it.
There’s still time to see the puzzle in the Wallach Gallery at the Lenfest Arts Center. The exhibition runs through March 11th. After that the puzzle goes back into careful storage at the RBML. Don’t miss your chance to see this artistry up close.