Columbia was the first university in the United States to offer courses in film study, in 1916, taught by the seminal director D. W. Griffith. An M.F.A. program was established in 1966 to focus on film history, theory, and criticism, and has featured such influential writers and directors as Milos Forman, Samson Raphelson, Andrew Sarris, Annette Insdorf, and Professor Schamus, whose collaboration with the director Ang Lee has produced such films as Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Since 1902, the University has also demonstrated leadership in the field of East Asian studies, with the creation of one of the first departments in the country, and, in the postwar period, of the first core curriculum in East Asian studies, thanks to the work of professors such as Wm. Theodore de Bary and Donald Keene. Today there are more than 70 Columbia faculty members working in this area, and more than 20 percent of all undergraduates at Columbia and Barnard enroll in at least one course about East Asia. Students and scholars from all over the New York metropolitan area and the world have come to rely on the C. V. Starr East Asian Library for their research, and in the last decade circulation of books at the Library has increased by 135 percent.
Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/ is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.
The C. V. Starr East Asian Library is one of the major collections for the study of East Asia in the United States, with over 805,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, and Western language materials, as well as some holdings in Mongol and Manchu, and over 6,000 periodical titles. The collection, established in 1902, is particularly strong in Chinese history, literature, and social sciences; Japanese literature, history, and religion, particularly Buddhism; and Korean history. The Library’s website is located at