Columbia's Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library Receives Grant to Preserve Archives of New York Firm Emery Roth & Sons


NEW YORK, February 14, 2007 The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University has received a $141,453 grant from the E.H.A. Foundation, Inc. to process and make available the recently-acquired post-war archive of New York architects Emery Roth & Sons.

For almost a century the Roth firm designed commercial and apartment buildings located in Manhattan and elsewhere. Avery Library also owns the firm's archive up to Emery Roth's death in 1948. Represented in the new acquisition are well-known New York commercial buildings such as the Pan Am Building, the Citicorp Building, the Colgate-Palmolive Building, The Sperry Building and the Look Building. It consists of over 400 boxes of materials, 293 of which are boxes of rolled drawings. The remainder of the collection contains folded construction drawings, individual job records, and associated business files.

"This substantial archive was donated to us in 2006 by Higgins & Quasebarth, a New York firm specializing in preservation and rehabilitation of historic properties," explained Gerald Beasley, Director of Avery Library. "With the help of the E.H.A. Foundation, an important body of twentieth-century American architecture is being cared for and made accessible to the scholarly community of historians, preservationists, planners, and architects served by Avery Library's department of Drawings & Archives."

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 Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is one of the most comprehensive collections relating to architecture and the fine arts in the world. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced study of architecture, historic preservation, art history, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archeology. The Library contains more than 400,000 volumes, including 35,000 rare books, and receives approximately 1,000 periodicals. Avery’s Drawings and Archives collection includes one million architectural drawings and records. The Library is home to the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, an operating program of the Getty Research Institute, which is the only comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design.

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02/14/07 LMK