Columbia University Libraries’ C.V. Starr East Asian Library, with the Korean Film Archive and the Center for Korean History at Korea University is pleased to announce it will collaboratively support the project of making digital duplicate copies of the Theodore Richard Conant Film Collection.
The Conant Collection, established at Columbia’s C.V. Starr East Asian Library in 2008, covers not only the history of the Korean War, but also the history of Korean film, social life and living conditions during 1950s. Theodore Richard Conant is a filmmaker and former UN official. The collection includes 250 books, correspondence, and manuscripts, 120 audio/musical reels, over 500 photos, and 74 film reels (in 16 mm.) consisting of newsreels, documentary films, and independent films.
"The films depict images of Korea that are very different from those we would see in contemporary Korea,” said Lee Byung-Hoon, Director of the Korean Film Archive. “When young Koreans today see the films they are likely to imagine a world unlike that of the Korea with which they are familiar. The images in the Conant films are thus a valuable resource."
The digital duplications of the films within the Contant collection will be available to the public and scholars throughout the world via these three institutions. The collaborative project will provide better preservation and access of the unique visual materials related to the Korean War.
“The collaboration will utilize the resources and expertise of each contributor and greatly increase the accessibility of the unique material to scholars and students in North America and South Korea,” said Jim Cheng, Director of Columbia’s C.V. Starr East Asian Library. “Such an international exchange allows the reach of this collection to grow exponentially, and I look forward to many more international cooperation projects in our future."
“The Theodore Conant Collection is a unique and invaluable resource for scholars and students of Korean film, culture, and modern history,” said Charles K. Armstrong, Director of the Center for Korean Research at Columbia University. “It is also an important collection of materials in cinematic history and media studies for East Asia as a whole. The preservation and digitization of this material is of great benefit to the intellectual community at Columbia, in the United States and in the wider world."
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.