Category Archives: News

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.

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

Happy Constitution Day! The Libraries Document the Work of John Jay

The Selected Papers of John Jay, a publications project under the auspices of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, is currently completing work on volume 4 of that edition, covering 1785-1789, the period of John Jay’s term of office as Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

During that time Jay promoted constitutional reform and defended the proposed constitution in five widely circulated essays of the Federalist Papers and in an equally well-regarded pamphlet addressed to the people of the state of New York, and signed “A Citizen of New York.”

Jay also played a dominant role in the state ratifying convention, helping to ensure that his Anti-federalist-dominated state ultimately ratified the Constitution and remained within the union.  Volume 4 will print Jay’s correspondence on constitutional issues with Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and others, and not only the published texts of his “A Citizen of New York” pamphlet and his Federalist essays but his draft versions of The Federalist, so that readers can examine the process by which Jay shaped his arguments for maximum effect.

Graduate Students! Apply For A Digital Centers Internship!

Exciting news!  The Libraries will award 6 internship opportunities within our digital centers on emerging digital tools and research methodologies, collaborating with librarians and technologists in supporting and promoting digital scholarship. 

We are seeking qualified Columbia graduate students; internships pay $20/hour.  Don't delay!  Click here for more information – application deadline is September 15th, 2012.

Albert Ellis’ Papers Now Available For Research

Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library is pleased to announce that the Albert Ellis Papers are now open to the Columbia University community and the public for scholarly research.

For more information on the materials, please check the finding aid online.

Albert Ellis (1913-2007) obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the City College of New York in 1934, and M.A. (1943), and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from Columbia University in 1947. He originated Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) in 1955 as a cognitive behavioral system of psychotherapy. REBT teaches clients to use cognitive, emotive, and behavioral methods to counter their self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors. In 1959, Ellis founded and organized the Institute for Rational Living (Albert Ellis Institute) in 1959, in Manhattan where it is still operating presently. Ellis served as President Emeritus of the Institute until his death on July 24, 2007.

The Ellis Papers consists of materials related to Ellis's long career as a psychologist, sexologist, and pioneer of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Records consist of correspondence, publications, photographs, notebooks, notecards, reel to reel audio tapes, audio cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and Dictaphone tapes.

The Study Break Is Wednesday, May 2!

Finals and the end of the semester are rapidly approaching! Remember the libraries and its staff are resource here to help you.

On Wednesday, May 2 from 10pm-12am in the Butler Lounge, take a moment to recharge and refuel with Starbucks coffee, bagels, and more healthy snacks and activities.  Librarians will also be on hand to answer any of your last minute reference and research questions.

Librarians are also available via email, chat, text, and in-person! So don't hesitate to ask a librarian when you need assistance.

Also, next week Stressbusters will be in Butler 203 from 8pm-12am giving free backrubs! You don't want to miss this awesome de-stress opportunity. 

Extended hours will also be in effect May 1-11 in the 5th and 6th floor graduate reading rooms. It's the end of the year! Go get 'em!

Announcing A New Way To Search! CLIO Beta Launches Today

The Libraries are happy to announce the launch of a new search system: CLIO Beta.  CLIO Beta, which over time will take the place of the current search tool CLIO, improves the discovery of information and delivers enhanced services for students and faculty.

CLIO Beta searches the same catalog as CLIO and CLIO classic, but offers more flexible search options, quicker filtering of resources, better results formats, and item-specific request options

It also enables searching across many diverse sources, including the Columbia Libraries catalog, articles, archives, Academic Commons, ebooks, the Libraries’ website, and more.

For more information, check out the video below, visit the CLIO Beta blog or start searching right away!

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We’d love to hear them! Just use the feedback tab at  

American Libraries Features Science & Engineering Library In Annual Design Showcase

American Libraries, a publication of the American Library Association, unveiled their list of "the best in new and renovated library facilities."

Featured in the Library Design Showcase 2012, was Columbia University's new Science & Engineering Library, located in the Northwest Corner Building.

It made the list under "Collaborative Learning." The environment was noted for the "special effort [made] to provide space for cooperation and collaboration, while still respecting other patrons' desires for silence."

Congratulations to the new space!

Remembering Professor Ellis Mount

By Nancy Panella, Librarian, St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals

Huston Ellis Mount, former librarian at Columbia University and former professor in Columbia’s School of Library Service, died at his home in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, on January 19, 2012.  He was 90 years of age.

Ellis, as he was known to all, came to Columbia University in 1964 and for several years was Head of the Science Division / Engineering Librarian.  While still in that position, he enrolled in Columbia’s School of Library Service doctoral program, earning his doctorate in 1979. He subsequently joined the faculty of the school and remained there as professor through its closing in 1992.

Ellis was a beloved teacher and mentor who dedicated much of his life to the library profession.  He was once described as "indefatigable" in his efforts to instruct a new generation of librarians while spending innumerable hours shaping the profession’s destiny through his writings and voluntary leadership positions within the library community.

Ellis was particularly active in the Special Library Association (SLA), holding many of its offices on both national and local chapter levels.  He also served on several SLA committees and task forces.  He received the Association’s John Cotton Dana Award, its Hall of Fame Award, and its Sci-Tech Division Achievement Award.  A prolific writer, he was author, co-author or editor of numerous major works in the field.

Perhaps his finest gifts to those of us who were privileged to study or work with him, though, were his affection, his unfailing good humor and his commitment to excellence. He was at once a friend and a wonderful example, and he will be greatly missed.

The New York Chapter / Special Library Association has established in Ellis’ memory The Ellis Mount Scholarship Award.  Under its terms, an annual study stipend will be awarded to two SLA NY Chapter members currently enrolled in one of the four New York-area library schools.

Remembering Barney Rosset Through His Personal Papers

The news of publisher Barney Rosset's death comes with great sadness. In 2010, Columbia University Libraries announced it had acquired the personal papers of the legendary Grove Press publisher.

Rosset, the founder and genius behind Grove, was best known for bringing out the first legal American editions of D. H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, and William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch, and for Grove's literary magazine, the Evergreen Review.

The archive documents Rosset's personal life from his early days in Chicago, through his activities as a controversial filmmaker and publisher, and includes FBI and CIA files on Rosset, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. Rosset continued his interest in politic and photography during a visit to Nicaragua, recording hundreds of images of their general election in February 1990. "Remembering Samuel Beckett," a chapter of Rosset's forthcoming autobiography, The Subject is Left-handed, appeared in Conjunctions 53 (Fall 2009) and was awarded a Pushcart Prize.

Rosset was 89 when he passed on Tuesday.