Category Archives: Uncategorized

An oddity in the comics collections

A true treasure trove of a gift has been coming over the past few years from Jens Robinson, the son of illustrator and Golden Age comics artist Jerry Robinson. In addition to all of Jerry’s Playbill art, his strips, his book illustration, and other materials, Jens has been giving us Jerry’s library.

In preparation for his book The comics: an illustrated history of comic strip art, 1895-2010, Jerry collected a lot of comic strip history. One oddity is this long, slender, staple-bound publication (32 cm/13 in):

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Tips for researchers’ first time in the archives: photos and scanning

blue and white arabic writing on page from Q'uran

Photo credit: Ali Wahid

Carrie Smith, Lecturer at Cardiff University, recently posted a thread on Twitter with basic advice for first-time archives researchers. The thread has  tips that work well for our own RBML users — even for our more regular visitors. Continue reading

It might’ve heated up outside — welcome, summer! — but inside the RBML reading rooms it can be quite chilly.

While we can’t let you bring in coats, jackets or other large coverings, you can bring a light cardigan or long-sleeve shirt. Please review our reading room guidelines before your visit. 

New from RBML’s Archivists | May – June 2019

rows of archival boxes in a white room

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Head Archivist Kevin Schlottmann shares collections newly opened or updated by RBML’s Archivists.

Barnard Family Papers
“Correspondence, financial records, and legal documents of the Barnard family of Sheffield, Massachusetts. Frederick A. P. Barnard (1809-1889) was President of Columbia College from 1864-1889. His brother John Gross Barnard (1815-1882) was a career officer in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers who served as a Brevet Major General for the Union during the Civil War. Anna Eliza Barnard was John Gross Barnard’s second wife, who raised four children and managed the family’s affairs during her husband’s last illness, 1879-1882. Augustus Porter Barnard, the son of John G. Barnard and his first wife, was a mining engineer.”

United Bronx Parents Records
“United Bronx Parents (UBP) was founded in 1965 as a grassroots organization of parents and local businesses advocating for improved education for children in South Bronx public schools. In 1984, under executive director Lorraine Montenegro, the organization shifted focus to address other issues facing Bronx residents, including homelessness, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS. The United Bronx Parents, Inc. Records document the organization’s work for social services in the Puerto Rican community of the South Bronx from the 1960s to the 2010s.”

Albert Goldman Papers
“The papers consist of correspondence, diaries, journals, interviews, manuscripts, transcripts, and printed material of  Albert Goldman, one of the foremost chroniclers of American popular culture. ”

Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1864-2011
This collection contains the recorded minutes from the different faculty meetings: from the representative University Council to the individual schools (Columbia College, Engineering, Journalism, Law, etc.). Faculty meeting minutes include information on admissions, the academic calendar, curricular changes, faculty appointments and leaves, student petitions, fellowships, grants, prizes, and graduation requirements among other topics.

Flat Files Collection, 1754-2018
This collection consists of oversize posters, maps, newspapers, drawings, floor plans and architectural plans related to Columbia events, people and locations. The collection has been organized by subject matter.

Departmental Reports to the President, 1890-1927
This collection contains three sets of reports from the academic departments to the President of Columbia College (1890) and Columbia University (1900 and 1927).

Nicholas Murray Butler football correspondence, 1905-1907
This collection contains correspondence received by Columbia University President Nicholas Murray Butler regarding the banning of intercollegiate football at Columbia in 1905 and the ban lasted for 10 years.

***An exhibition on Football at Columbia will open in the fall.***

Collections of speeches by Columbia University Presidents:
– Seth Low speeches, 1878-1916
– Nicholas Murray Butler speeches, 1882-1947
– William McGill speeches, 1971-1980

J. Franklin Crowell Papers
“Correspondence, manuscripts, notes, questionnaires, and printed materials relating to a study of lynching conducted by Crowell. Included are letters from governors, elected and appointed officials, and others replying to inquiries from Crowell. There are more than 100 manuscripts and manuscript notes by Crowell, eleven completed questionnaires returned to him approximately 150 newspaper clippings, and twelve printed items on the topic of lynching.”

Updated F. A. P. Barnard Papers
Four boxes of Frederick Barnard’s professional materials were separated from the Barnard Family papers and added to the end of the existing collection.

Lawrence Walsh papers — Pepperdine Law Collection Series
One large series of the Lawrence Walsh papers, consisting of law volumes, books, and clippings, has a finding aid.

The listing of the Tennessee Williams library were added to the existing finding aid as series X, making directly discoverable over 2,000 previously hidden books.

The Indian Princely State Documents now have a container list:
“These are manuscripts and typescript documents of 34 different princely states that existed as distinct political entities in pre-independence India. Although the majority of these states were tiny principalities in western India (primarily in what is now Rajasthan), some (e.g., Hyderabad) were located in other regions of India and represented major powers in the region at that time.”

In Passing | Composer, arranger Sid Ramin dies at 100

Award-winning composer, arranger and orchestrator Sid Ramin died this week at age 100. He was best known for his work as orchestrator for several prominent Broadway productions, including West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962). He also composed and arranged scores for films and television programs, including Candid Camera, All My Children (for which he won a Daytime Emmy), The Milton Berle Show, and the made-for-television 1973 remake of Miracle on 34th Street.

Ramin was also well known for composing “Music to Watch Girls By,” written as a commercial jingle for Diet Pepsi and first released in 1966 as a single by Bob Crewe. Have a listen.

See the finding aid for Ramin’s collected papers here in the RBML.

Oral History | Aging, disability and medical care at Guantánamo

From The New York Times, “Guantánamo Bay as Nursing Home: Military Envisions Hospice Care as Terrorism Suspects Age“:

More than 17 years after choosing the American military base in Cuba as “the least worst place” to incarcerate prisoners from the battlefield in Afghanistan, after years of impassioned debates over the rights of the detainees and whether the prison could close, the Pentagon is now planning for terrorism suspects still held in the facility to grow old and die at Guantánamo Bay.

The Columbia Center for Oral History Research’s Rule of Law Oral History Project, initiated in 2008, explores the state of human and civil rights in the post-9/11 world.

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Exhibition Reminder | Ilia Zdanevich: The Tbilisi Years

Guest curator Thomas Kitson, a freelance translator, and Professor Valentina Izmirlieva (Slavic Department) collaborated with RBML Bakhmeteff Archive Curator and Librarian for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies Rob Davis on our current exhibition, “Ilia Zdanevich: The Tbilisi Years.”

Read more about the exhibition, featured materials and the avant-garde movements inspiring Zdanevich work on the Global Studies blog. The show runs now through 12 July 2019.

Highlights from the RBML Collections | Puppets of Butler Library

puppet on strings with conical hat and read and gold trimmed robe

Yoké thé marionette | Burma (Myanmar) | Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum records, 1750-1970

From Columbia Magazine’s Spring 2019 print edition with the title “The World on a String”: The marionette shown here was purchased in Singapore in 1926 by John Mulholland, who taught at Teachers College and later became a famous magician. Matthews, a skilled conjurer himself, retired from teaching in 1924. He died five years later, leaving his papers — and puppets — to Columbia [Full article].

 

Oral history collection on addiction featured in NPR podcast, Throughline

Addiction and the opioid epidemic gripping the nation are investigated in a new NPR podcast, Throughline.

Taking advantage of decades of NPR’s archival sound and the Oral History Archives at Columbia’s collections, podcast co-host Rund Abdelfatah spent time here in the RBML listening to the voices and stories of people struggling with addiction. The interviews are part of Professor David Courtwright’s collection, Addicts Who Survived.* You can listen to the episode on NPR’s site.

* Addicts Who Survived is a collection undergoing processing, meaning it’s being transcribed, cataloged and preserved by OHAC’s archivist and the Libraries’ staff. 

RBML Pulitzer collections on PBS’ American Masters 📺📰📺📰📺

portrait of Pulitzer in suit and spectacles

Joseph Pulitzer, photo portrait. Photographer and date not listed.

Mere days ahead of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize announcements, tune in Friday, April 12, 2019 for the debut of a new program, Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People.

The makers of the long-running PBS series, American Masters, visited the RBML to examine the Pulitzer and World paper collections, speak with Curator for Performing Arts Jenny Lee and filmed a few scenes in the RBML reading room.

If you miss the program on terrestrial TV, you can watch it in the 28 days following the initial airing online for free.

“A journalist is the lookout on the bridge of the Ship of State.” – Joseph Pulitzer