Category Archives: Events and Exhibits

Columbia University Libraries Launches Website for the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry (LCAAJ)

Columbia University Libraries is very pleased to announce the launch of the website for the digitized data of the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. An accompanying guide to the use of the digitized materials with many supplementary materials is also available.

The LCAAJ archive is an extraordinary resource for research in Yiddish studies that can shed much valuable light on language, ethnography, literature, folklore and music, anthropology, linguistics, Germanic and Slavic studies, and aspects of Central and East European history. The archive consists of over 600 interviews conducted between 1959 and 1972 with native speakers of Yiddish during a long-range comparative study to document the effects of physical, linguistic, and cultural channels and barriers on the geographic fragmentation of the Jewish and diverse non-Jewish populations that coexisted in Central and Eastern Europe before World War II. The LCAAJ project collected its interviews at essentially the last moment, when a diverse body of native speakers was still alive, aiming to address both the challenge of an endangered linguistic and cultural legacy, and the special potential that Yiddish provides for studying language and cultural contact and change.

This two-year project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, digitized approximately 140,000 pages of interview documents containing data from the interviews, carried out optical character recognition (OCR) and mark-up of the printed responses to enable their content to be searched and manipulated, and made all the digitized content freely available to scholars via the Digital Library Collections at Columbia. Additional work, funded by the Libraries, allowed for complete reprocessing of the full LCAAJ archive for scholarly use. This source for historical, literary, or anthropological research, for the study of languages in contact, and for the evolution and differentiation of language communities, is now available to a worldwide community of scholars.

The written materials accompany more than 5,700 hours of recorded interviews that Columbia Libraries has already digitized through generous support from NEH, private foundations, the New York State Conservation/Preservation Program, and Evidence of Yiddish Documented in European Societies (EYDES, a project of the German Förderverein für Jiddische Sprache und Kultur), through which the audio is publicly available. The long-term goal is to eventually link the written content to the audio recordings of the interviews and make the entire audio and written corpus available to students and scholars in an integrated form.

The interviews contain a wealth of comments about Jewish culture and history from a place and time that is largely out of our reach today. Bringing the LCAAJ archive into the digital environment will exponentially increase its value to historians of Jewish Studies and European history, linguists, anthropologists, and students and teachers of Yiddish. The availability of this data will greatly facilitate the online work of scholars to continue and enhance the important mapping work begun in the first three volumes of the printed Atlas, which were published by Niemeyer in 1992-2000.

As part of the launch of the project, an exhibition called “Yiddish at Columbia” will be mounted in the Chang Octagon Gallery in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library in early March. Additional events will be announced at a later date.

The LCAAJ archive consists of over 600 interviews conducted between 1959 and 1972 with native speakers of Yiddish, documenting the effects of physical, linguistic, and cultural channels and barriers on the geographic fragmentation of the Jewish and diverse non-Jewish populations that coexisted in Central and Eastern Europe before World War II.

Sit, relax, unwind…

Take a well-deserved break from your hectic schedules! Stop by any of the following libraries for low-key stress relievers like coloring, back and neck rubs, therapy dogs, and more:

Avery Library

Tuesday, May 2 through Thursday, May 11, there will be coloring books and jigsaw puzzles available all day on the 200 level of the library.

Butler Library

Monday, May 1 through Thursday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., room 203 will be open as a reflection space, complete with exercise balls and yoga mats, for a moment or two of quiet.

Tuesday, May 2 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Columbia’s Stressbusters will offer free back and neck rubs in room 203.

Thursday, May 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Media, Film Studies, & Performing Arts Librarian Nancy Friedland will host a movie night in room 203, showing several animated Looney Tunes shorts and the silent film The General.

Lehman Library

Thursday, May 4 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Lehman and the School of International and Public Affairs Student Association (SIPASA) will provide coloring supplies and origami.

Science & Engineering Library

Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m., trained therapy dogs will be in the Innovation Space on the main floor, so come in and make a furry friend!

Monday, May 1 through Friday, May 12, there will be coloring books, jigsaw puzzles, and origami available all day in the Innovation Space on the main floor.

Good luck on your exams and take care!

Spring Semester Symposia Recap

This semester, Columbia University Libraries/Information Services hosted three major symposia.  While the events have passed, the conversations are still relevant!  Check out links to videos, plus browse information about speakers and panelists and their work:

New Media Education: Bits to Breakthroughs

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning hosted its 6th biennial New Media in Education Conference on February 1, 2013 at the Columbia University Faculty House. Since CCNMTL's first conference in 2001, these free events have brought together the Columbia community to explore how digital tools and emerging technologies can enhance teaching and learning.

The theme of the NME 2013 was “Bits to Breakthroughs,” a title that refers to how small ideas and changes in pedagogy facilitated by technology and new media can significantly enhance teaching and learning. Laurie Burruss of lynda.com and Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia’s Chief Digital Officer, gave plenary presentations. Conference sessions tackled topics like digital humanities, assessment and evaluation, new models of digital publishing, and technology tools for research. Over 200 faculty, staff, administrators, graduate students, and guests attended. Videos of sessions are available on CCNMTL's YouTube Channel

Research Data Symposium

On Wednesday, February 27, the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) teamed up with Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, Columbia’s Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering, and Elsevier to host the Research Data Symposium, which lead discussion on topics related to managing and curating research data and a variety of other research outputs.

The event featured four speaker panels – filmed by our video team and now available on Youtube here – addressing the different stages of the research data life cycle, with representatives from Columbia faculty, learned societies, research institutions, funders, and publishers examining the implementation stages, available technologies and associated challenges and engaging in lively debates on the barriers for managing, preserving and accessing research data. The event was by all accounts a great success, with 250 in-person attendees, 200 people joining the livestream online, and hundreds more joining the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #RDS2013.

 

10th Columbia Library Symposium: TRENDING: new opportunities in the evolving academy

On Friday, March 22, Columbia University Libraries hosted the 10th Columbia Library Symposium: "TRENDING: new opportunities in the evolving academy," which explored the changes in higher education and libraries.   The symposium focused on the idea that while libraries are being re-imagined to keep pace with evolving scholarly needs, they're also evolving to provide leadership in addressing broader institutional challenges presented by the transforming academic enterprise.

The symposium featured an impressive lineup of speakers and panelists, including keynote speaker Malcom Brown, Director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative who explored changes in higher education over the past decade and the implications of those changes on teaching and learning. Other speakers included Ithanka S+R Program Director Roger C. Schonfeld, several Columbia faculty members, Marta Brunner, Head of Collections, Research and Instructional Services at the Charles E. Young Research Library of UCLA, and Tracy Gabridge, Head of Liaisons for Departments, Centers and Labs at MIT.  Videos of the speakers and panels are available here. A lively extension of the sessions and discussions took place on Twitter using the hashtag #CULSymp13

Quatercentenary of the House of Romanov

Kempner GalleryRomanov
February 14th – June 28th, 2013

The exhibition Quatercentenary of the House of Romanov features objects drawn from various collections held by the Bakhmeteff Archive and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. It consists of books, correspondence, original charters, maps, photographs, posters, personal documents, ephemera, and books and other possessions that belonged to the Russian Imperial Family. The exhibition will be on display from February 14th – June 28th, 2013 in the RBML’s Kempner Gallery.

One highlight of the exhibition is the 1622 manuscript Charter of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov granting land and other privileges and rights to Onufrii, Archbishop of Astrakhan and Terek. Never shown before and unpublished, this charter is a very rare and significant document from the reign of the first Romanov tsar. Another highlight is the recently opened collection of nearly 500 letters sent by Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, mother of the last Russian Emperor, and her two daughters, Grand Duchess Ksenia and Ol’ga, to their close friend and companion, Princess Aleksandra Obolensky. There letters are written in French and Russian and reflect the daily life and expectations of the Imperial family in exile.

Most poignant is a white lace parasol that belonged to Aleksandra Fiodorovna (1872-1918), the last Russian Tsarina, along with a never-shown-before while lace pillow, that was also her property, preserved by one of her ladies-in-waiting, Countess Mariia Semenovna Benckendorff. Other items from the reign of the last Romanovs include a variety of elaborate menus and other ephemera relating to the coronation festivities of Nicholas and Aleksandra in 1896, a print announcing of the birth of the Tsarevich, Grand Duke Aleksei Nikolaevich, in 1904, a draft of Nicholas II’s abdication manifesto, 1917, and a volume of Nikolai Sokolov’s Preliminary Investigation into the Death of Nicholas II and His Family, Ekaeterinburg, 1918.

Workshop: Enhancing Access to Oral History, February 14 at 6PM

Columbia Center for Oral History, the Oral History Master of Arts, and the Digital Humanities Center Presents:

Search, Explore, Connect:
Enhancing Access to Oral History
Thursday, February 14th, 2013

6pm – 8pm
523 Butler Library

Free and open to the public. No registration required.

The digital age has greatly enhanced opportunities and possibilities for a single oral history interview or project to be globally distributed and, potentially, have a major impact on the historical record. Doug Boyd will discuss new models for engaging and empowering users of oral history in a digital environment. He will also discuss the web-based, system OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) that inexpensively and efficiently enhances access to oral history online, created at the Nunn Center.

Doug Boyd Ph.D. serves as the Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. He is currently directing the IMLS National Leadership Grant OHMS: Enhancing Access and Discovery of Oral History Online and recently managed the Oral History in the Digital Age project, a national initiative exploring current best practices for collecting, curating and disseminating oral histories resulting in an online, open access publication containing over 72 essays.

For more information, please email Terrell Frazier at terrellfrazier@columbia.edu.

Tips & Tricks For Getting Through Finals

The Libraries are here to support you throughout the end of the semester! Here's how: 

  • Stressbusters will be in Butler 203 on Wednesday, December 12, giving backrubs, and offering tips for reducing stress and more. Librarians will also be on hand to answer questions and hand out healthy study snacks. Check out Facebook for more info.
     
  • Research Librarians and Subject Specialists – find them at the Butler Reference Desk or contact a staff member directly.

  • Librarians are available to answer questions through email, text, and chat.
     
  • Keep up-to-minute with Library news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Anything else we can do? Let us know! Happy studying! Go get 'em! Roar!

Attend “The Golden Age of Theatrical Scrapbooks, 1880-1930” Monday, December 3

On Monday, December 3, Sharon Marcus, Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, will be presenting a lecture on "The Golden Age of Theatrical Scrapbooks, 1880-1930." The event is free and open to the public and will take place in 523 Butler Library at 6pm.


Theatrical scrapbooks are some of the least utilized documents in theater history archives, yet also among the most useful, replete with cast lists, advertising imagery, ticket stubs, theater programs, seating charts, and clippings of reviews and articles.  This talk provides a history of the theatrical scrapbook in the United States during the golden age of theater, 1880-1930, as well as a formal analysis of the traits that define theatrical scrapbooks as a genre distinct from other kinds of albums popular during the nineteenth century.  These materials illuminate a few key problems in theater studies, including the status of the dramatic author; the relationship between theater and film; and the notoriously elusive bond between stars and fans, actors and audiences. Continue reading

C.V. Starr East Asian Library Hosts Art Exhibition By Seisai

The C.V. Starr East Asian Library is pleased to announce the opening of a special exhibit of fifteen prints by Seisai (the artist name of Peter MacMillan), from his series Thirty-Six New Views of Mount Fuji. This exhibition takes place in the Starr Library rare book reading room and will be on view through November 30, 2012.

Thirty-Six New Views of Mount Fuji explores the gap between traditional Japanese culture and the careless consumerism of present-day society. The artist uses lithograph printing, offset printing, hand painting, and gold leaf applied by hand in his prints, drawing upon Hokusai's motifs as well as those of other Japanese and Western artists. 

For more information, please visit the Starr blog.