Category Archives: Featured E-Resources

Columbia Libraries Celebrates World Digital Preservation Day

Columbia University Libraries joins the international digital preservation community today in celebrating World Digital Preservation Day to recognize the collections preserved, the access maintained and the understanding fostered by preserving digital materials. The commemorative day seeks “to create greater awareness of digital preservation that will translate into a wider understanding which permeates all aspects of society – business, policy making, personal good practice.”

Columbia Libraries holds many millions of digital items in over 300 computer file formats, content that includes digitized reproductions of papyri and clay tablets, manuscripts, archival photographs, historical publications, artworks, sound recordings, film, video, and three-dimensional objects, as well as archival material from statesmen, politicians, and philanthropic organizations such as the Ford and Carnegie foundations. Our digital collections are expanding rapidly as a result of new acquisitions of content originating in digital format, and our ongoing digitization of unique cultural heritage materials from new and existing archival and specialized collections continues. On our website, you can view a portion of our preserved digital collections that we have published for open use, such as the Columbia Spectator Archive, the papers of composer Ulysses Kay, and the holdings of sixteenth-century Italian architect and theoretician, Sebastiano Serlio.

Columbia Spectator Archive, 1953-1992, Now Available Online

The Columbia Spectator Archive now includes content from 1953 to 1992, totaling nearly 50,000 pages.  The website, initially launched in Fall 2012,  represents the first phase of a multiyear project to digitize the full run of the Columbia Spectator, Columbia's student newspaper and the second-oldest college daily in the United States. When completed, it will include issues from the paper's beginnings in 1877 to the present.

The goals of the Archive are to provide a public resource for Columbia University history and to preserve the Spectator's past work. Whenever possible, Spectator issues were scanned from the original paper versions, and high-quality, color digital reproductions were generated.  State-of-the-art optical character recognition, automatic text parsing software, and a powerful search and display system, provided by Digital Data Divide and Digital Library Consulting, respectively, allow for article-level access as well as full text searching of the entire Archive.  The project, which is being jointly funded by the Libraries and the Spectator, has been challenging as many of the original volumes required paper repair and conservation due to their fragile condition from years of use.

New Online Exhibitions To Check Out

The Libraries house so much more than print resources! Four new online exhibitions launched recently, ranging in a variety of topics from architecture to literature to photography.  Check out the papers of Joseph Pulitzer, unique design novelties and more, all from your computer.
Saint Augustine, Florida. View of novelty from side

Avery's Architectural Novelties
This exhibition highlights a selection of architectural novelties from the Avery Classics collection, displaying items that are both comprehensive and eccentric in their treatment of architecture.


Original title page with a much later frontispiece, Workes of Geffray Chaucer newlye printed, 1542

The Reading of Books and the Reading of Literature
This online exhibition was highlighted by a day-long symposium at Columbia University in April. The exhibition, along with the conference, focuses on the relation between literature and the media in which it is conveyed.

"American Editors II - Joseph Pulitzer," Harper's Weekly, Dec. 28, 1901

Joseph Pulitzer and the World
An exhibition of the papers of Joseph Pulitzer and of his newspaper, The World, held by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The exhibition contains a variety of materials that show the working life of this truly remarkable individual. Included are letters, documents, ledgers, newspapers, photographs, and realia concerning his life, as well as material documenting Pulitzer’s role in the founding of Columbia’s School of Journalism and the creation of the Pulitzer Prizes.

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Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a great tool that can help you discover abstracts, full-text articles, and other database content through a simple search interface. The resource provides a search of scholarly literature across a diverse array of subject areas and sources. Here's a reminder on how to most effectively utilize Google Scholar both on-campus and remotely.

You can access the full-text journal and database content provided by Columbia University Libraries directly from Google Scholar. Just type the title of a journal article into Google Scholar and then link directly to Columbia’s full-text via "e-Link@Columbia."  



If you’re on campus and you search Google Scholar, you will automatically see the "e-link @ Columbia" when the content is available from the Libraries. If you’re off campus, there are a few ways to access Columbia Libraries’ content through Google Scholar.

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Free Online Resources for Columbia Alumni!


jstor_logo_mediumDid you know some of the library perks available to Columbia University alumni? Not only do alumni have access to the libraries and lifelong reading privileges, but they also have free access to many of our most popular online journals and databases. Here are just a few that are offered:

  • Factiva
  • JAMA
  • Proquest

For more information on how to access these resources once you’ve graduated, visit the Alumni & Friends FAQ page.


Check out Some of the New Resources Online!

The following new e-resources and online databases have been added to Columbia University Libraries website:

A-R Editions’ Online Music Anthology – Online Music Anthology is a database of music scores containing representative vocal and instrumental compositions from antiquity through the 19th century.

Archives Unbound – Archives Unbound presents topically-focused digital collections of the historical documents that support the research and study needs of scholars and students.

Essay and General Literature Retrospective – Essay and General Literature Retrospective indexes single and multi-author collections, plus selected and annual series.

Filmakers Library Online – Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning documentaries in the areas of race and gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, political science, current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more. This database is being offered on a trial basis until May 15.

International Monetary Fund eLibrary – The IMF eLibrary offers direct access to IMF’s periodicals, books, working papers, and studies, as well as data and statistical tools.

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Librarian Highlight: John Tofanelli

Name: John Tofanelli

Title: Research Collections and Services Librarian for British and American History and Literature

Subject Specialities: American History and Literature, American Studies, African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Latino/a Studies, British History and Literature

Contact Info:

Library: Butler Library

@Columbia Since: 2000

Education Info: PhD in English, Stanford University; Masters in Library & Information Science, University of California at Berkeley

About me: I enjoy working at Columbia where student and faculty research is so varied and interesting and library collections are so extensive. It’s really a pleasure to learn about the research that people are doing and to suggest to them resources that will be of use.

What’s new at my library: American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection This is a wonderfully vast full-text and full page image database providing access to thousands of periodicals from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society. Coverage begins in 1691 and currently extends to 1852. When the database is complete, coverage will extend to 1877. For nearly any topic that falls within the time range covered, you are likely to find something of interest here.

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CUL Digital Collection: Bunraku Puppet Theater

Bunraku, Japanese puppet theater, is an unusually complex dramatic form, a collaborative effort among puppeteers, narrators, and musicians. This online exhibit features highlights from the Barbara Curtis Adachi Bunraku collection. This unique collection is held at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library.

The Barbara Curtis Adachi Collection, given to Columbia’s C. V. Starr East Asian Library in 1991, is one of the most extensive collections in the world visually documenting this rich performance tradition. The collection represents four decades of close contact and respectful collaboration between Ms. Adachi and the Japanese National Bunraku Troupe, the leading performance group of Bunraku in the world, and documents the significant revival of Bunraku’s popularity in the second half of the twentieth century.

The Bunraku gallery is divided into plays, productions, authors, backstage subjects, kashira (puppet head types), and characters. It documents the form’s revival in the second half of the 20th century, through more than 13,000 slides and over 7,000 black-and-white photographs of rehearsals and performances.

The Libraries invites you to explore the world of Bunraku.