Extras Between The Sheets

The work of archival and rare book processors is truly fascinating and never-ending. At RBML, we take great pleasure in exploring beyond the obvious and discovering curious and surprising artifacts left behind between pages and amidst letters for years, decades, and even centuries.  These treasures come in varying formats, subjects, and meanings, some of them […]

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Event | Intoxicating the Archive – Preserving Narcotic Heritage and including Marginalized Voices in Collections and Libraries

  “Intoxicating the Archive” critically explores how the memories and struggles of people who use drugs and those of other marginalized and/or activist groups in history are represented in archives, museums, and collective memory at large. While often being invisible at first, drug cultures have left traces in many archives and collections. However, finding and […]

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On Outdated and Harmful Language in Library of Congress Subject Headings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 A colleague recently asked an excellent question:  why do the subject headings in our finding aids frequently use outdated terminology?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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Linking Names in Our Archival Collections: Shared Authority Review (Interim update)

One of our collaborative work-from-home projects since the COVID pandemic started in March 2020 is our ongoing review of linked authority records in our archival collections. The shared authorities in our archival collections are managed in ArchivesSpace and are utilized across four of our distinctive collections including the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, the […]

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RBML – 2020 in Review

2020 was a year like no other.  It started normally enough, but on March 16, 2020, Columbia University closed its physical facilities as part of the New York State-mandated PAUSE that sought to control the spread of COVID. For months, staff were permitted onsite only for essential security and maintenance checks.  As restrictions loosened over […]

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