Author Archives: Jen

Book History Colloquium: “Blogging, Now and Then (250 years ago)” with Robert Darnton

The Book History Colloquium at Columbia is pleased to announce the next talk in our series. Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library, will be speaking on “Blogging, Now and Then (250 years ago).”

Long before the Internet, Europeans exchanged information in ways that anticipated blogging. The key element of their information system was the “anecdote,” a term that meant nearly the opposite then from what it means today. Anecdotes, dispensed by “libellistes” and “paragraph men,” became a staple in the daily diet of news consumed by readers in eighteenth-century France and England. They were also pilfered, reworked, and served up in books. By tracking anecdotes through texts, we can reassess a rich strain of history and literature.

Please note special time & location.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
501 Schemerhorn Hall


This event is free and open to the public.
Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Columbia University Library
Questions? Contact: Gerald Cloud gc2339@columbia.ed

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If you’re thinking about your senior thesis, MA project, or PhD thesis, schedule a research consultation with a subject specialist librarian to get started.

Research consultations are an opportunity for you to meet one-on-one with a subject specialist librarian to discuss your topic and learn about relevant resources and research strategies. Consultations are available with each of our 40+ subject specialist librarians.




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Thank You PhDs!

The Libraries thanks everyone who came out for our very first PhD reception last night! We had a great time meeting so many PhD students! You can find a few pictures from the event on Facebook, Please, let us know what you thought of the reception!


And, if you’re looking for your subject specialist librarian, you can find the full list here. We hope to see you again soon!

Oral History Research Office Book Talk with Anne Valk and Leslie Brown

Please join the Oral History Research Office for a Book Talk with co-authors Anne Valk and Leslie Brown on "Living with Jim Crow: African-American Women and Memories of the Segregated South."

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Schermerhorn Extension, room 754

Anne Valk, professor of History at Brown University, and Leslie Brown, a professor of history at Williams College, will discuss the oral history research conducted by Duke University on the Jim Crow South that led to the writing of Living with Jim Crow.  As graduate students directing that research in the 1980s, their presence in the project was instrumental to the success of the oral history project that has led to multiple publications and documentary works and informs the book that they have written together on the central findings of their oral history research and methodology.

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender


Book History Colloquium: Avery Annotated: Copy Specific Evidence and Architectural Books with Kate Isard

Please join us for the next talk at the Book History Colloquium at Columbia.

Thursday, October 28, 2010
6:00 – 7:30PM
Butler Library, room 523

Kate Isard, Department of Art History, Columbia University, will speak about “Avery Annotated: Copy Specific Evidence and Architectural Books.”

Copy specific evidence in sixteenth-century books has tremendous scholarly value for the understanding of professional architectural practice in the early modern period.  Advances in printing enabled the previously impossible proliferation of published architectural books, which created the commonplace assumption that important and scholarly architects wrote treatises. Nevertheless, the question of how these books were actually used by architect-readers remains obscure.  Using examples from the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, this paper will describe the way in which annotations by early modern architect-readers are a valuable document that sheds light on the way in which early modern architects negotiated written words and printed visual forms, illustrating the interdependence of architectural theory and practice at the time.


The Book History Colloquium is free and open to to the public. 

PhD Candidates, You’re Invited!

Columbia’s PhD candidates are invited to join the Libraries for a wine and cheese reception this Thursday. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with PhD students and librarians from across disciplines.

When: Thursday, October 21, 6pm – 8pm
Where: Butler Library, room 523


Sponsored by Columbia University Libraries.


Find Articles Beta Workshops

Come to a workshop on Find Articles Beta – the Libraries’ latest search tool. (What is Find Articles Beta?) The workshops will provide you with an overview of Find Articles Beta, how it relates to other library databases and resources, and how to get the most out of your searches using Find Articles Beta.

Friday, October 15 – noon-1pm, 306 Butler
Friday, October 22 – noon-1pm, 306 Butler
Friday, October 29- noon-1pm, 306 Butler
Friday, November 5 – noon-1pm, 306 Butler

No sign-up necessary, just stop by!


Book History Colloquium Presents “Witch-Hunters in the Book-Shops: How Curators and Scholars Built the Cornell Witchcraft Collection (1866-2010)”

On Thursday, October 14, Laurent Ferri, Associate Curator of Rare Books at Cornell will speak at the Book History Colloquium on "Witch-Hunters in Book-shops: How Curators Built the Cornell Witchcraft Collection (1866-2010)."

That Cornell University Library has the best and most accessible Witchcraft Collection in the world is widely acknowledged in the academic community, but the whole story of why and how the collection was built (in the context of scholarship and political activism) still needs to be told in details. Driven by their liberal/rationalist and populist/sentimentalist interpretation of European witchcraft, Cornell’s first President Andrew Dickson White (1866-1885) and librarian George Lincoln Burr (who retired in 1922), purchased the largest ensemble of witchcraft trial records and demonology treaties in one repository. In this talk Ferri will discuss the history, formation, and use of this important collection.

Questions? Email Gerald Cloud.

All BHC sessions will be held in 523 Butler Library, 6:00 – 7:30pm.

Librarian Highlight: Michelle Chesner


Librarian: Michelle Chesner

Title: Librarian for Jewish Studies

Subject specialties: Hebrew, Yiddish, Israel, Jewish Studies

Contact info:, 212 854 8046, 304 Lehman Library, International Affairs Building

Library: Area Studies

@ Columbia Libraries Since: 2010

Education Info: B.A History, University of Maryland; M.A. Hebrew and Jewish Studies, NYU; M.L.I.S. Long Island University

About me: "My personal interests lie in the field of rare Hebraica, specifically Hebrew incunabula, those first books printed just after the invention of the printing press through 1501.  I’m so excited to work with Columbia’s incredible Hebrew manuscript collection (the second-largest in the country) and the many other treasures I’ve recently discovered throughout the library."

What’s new at my library: Me!  I’m Columbia’s first Librarian for Jewish Studies.  We’ve also recently purchased:

  1. The Bar-Ilan Responsa Project, a full-text database of pretty much all Jewish religious texts, from the Torah to 20th century responsa
  2. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (online and in print), a critical work which is the first of its kind
  3. Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive, a fantastic resource with over 50,000 hours of video interviews of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust.  We are the only location in NYC to host this archive

Personal Favorite: RAMBI – The Index of Articles in Jewish Studies, a catalog produced by The Jewish National and University Library (now the National Library of Israel), which indexes articles across many books and journals relating to Jewish Studies.  It’s a great way to search for Jewish Studies articles, and often yields resources in unexpected places.

Recommended Resources: