Columbia Center for Oral History Receives Two-Year Grant From Atlantic Philanthropies
NEW YORK, July 25, 2011 –

The Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH), a unit of the University Libraries, has received a two-year, $627,000 grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to support expansion of its core staffing and project capacity.


This funding builds upon a previous grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, which enabled the Center, formerly known as the Oral History Research Office, to undertake new and innovative projects in the areas of human rights and constitution freedoms. New work will proceed in the areas of public health, philanthropies, and the arts.

"This is one of the most significant grants in our history, as it frees us to develop the projects and programs that will allow us to reach wider audiences, take up the challenge of doing interviews that touch on the central events and conversations of our times, and develop our digital capacity to make our collections more publicly available," Mary Marshall Clark, Director of CCOH, said.

The Center will also expand its educational offerings to the public to include regular workshops and training programs, faculty and student seminars and one-to-one consultations. The grant will allow for the transformation of the Summer Institute into a more global training institute, leading to the development of faculty and student exchange programs.

Through ongoing work with colleagues in the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the home of the Oral History Master of Arts program, the Center also plans to work with students and faculty to build the field of oral history in multidisciplinary contexts, enlivening the archive, and building collections in new and dynamic ways.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are a group of Bermuda-based charitable foundations whose grant investments are focused internationally in four programme fields: Ageing, Disadvantaged Children and Youth, Population Health and Reconciliation and Human Rights. Atlantic’s mission is to bring about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

Columbia Center for Oral History was founded in 1948 as a center for conducting biographical interviews on political history. CCOH is renowned both for the breadth of its holdings and its vision for developing oral history as a field of study and practice. Scholars consistently turn to CCOH not only for its collections, but for guidance in how to teach and practice oral history. Increasingly, through the development of educational programs and innovative research projects, CCOH serves as a laboratory for the continual development of oral history methodologies across the disciplines. In turn, students and scholars trained by CCOH produce new scholarship and create new interviews, enriching the archive and expanding the breadth of oral history as a field of study and practice. CCOH is home for over 20,000 hours of recorded conversations, and over 8,000 interviews conducted on almost every subject in American history, in addition to the history of science, medicine, philanthropy, public health, and the arts. For more information, please visit library.columbia.edu/indiv/ccoh.html.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 500 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

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7/25/11 CUL