Columbia University World Trade Center Archive Project


COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, Tuesday, October 30, 2001 The tragic events of September 11 have had an enormous and continuing impact on the Columbia community. As a side effect, they have generated an abundance of paper and electronic records. We in the Libraries and the University Archives have formed an emergency committee in the hope of saving these records and making sure they will be available for future study.

First, we urge those who have responsibility for maintaining departmental, divisional, or other files to preserve the contents so that they may become part of the permanent record of the effects of the disaster and the University's response to it. The University Archives, the Health Sciences Archives, and the Law School Archives are accepting all records generated by the crisis along with any printed or ephemeral material produced on campus for deposit in their collections, where they will be cataloged and made available for future use. Papers from individual students, staff, or faculty members are welcome.

Secondly, the Libraries will also accept collections of materials in any language or format from any part of the world that may document the crisis or the continuing efforts at recovery. Photographs, e-mails, letters, pamphlets, flyers, audio-tapes and other items are all welcome. These will eventually form a World Trade Center Archive, available for research or study. Boxes will be placed in the main Divisional Libraries. Electronic documentation may be sent to wtc-preserve@columbia.edu. Confidentiality will be maintained upon request. For further information, please call or e-mail Jean Ashton, Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at 854-2232, ashton@columbia.edu, or talk to the Divisional Library Director.

Finally, many people have personal photographs, documents and other memorials of September 11 that they will want to preserve on their own. Taking proper care of these objects will help assure that they last into the future. Information on how to store and handle items in order to promote their longevity is available from the Library of Congress at http://www.lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/careothr.html and http://aic.stanford.edu/treasure/

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10/20/2001