Columbia's Avery Library Receives Grant to Digitize the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals

April 30, 2000 - Columbia University's Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, home to the premier architectural collection in the world, has received a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. The grant will facilitate the ongoing digitization of data from the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, a project that is giving researchers instant online access to what is acclaimed to be the most important bibliographical tool for research in architectural, urban design and urban planning history.

"We are delighted that the Delmas Foundation is supporting this endeavor," said Angela Giral, director of Avery. "The funds will allow us to complete the addition to the online index of the equivalent of ten years of production in a single year, which will practically double the number of records available to users through remote access."

The $20,000 grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation will supplement funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1999 for the retrospective conversion of the Index.

The project, which will add approximately 150,000 periodical citations to the database from Avery's card file (1934-1976), is proceeding ahead of schedule, according to Giral. Duncan Data Systems, a Canadian firm based in Ontario, was awarded the contract for conversion and has already converted the first batch of 50,000 records. These records have undergone testing by RLIN and have already been loaded. The project is expected to be completed in August 2000.

The index, spanning 1934 to the present, is available in massive paper volumes and CD-ROM formats. Only data from 1977 to present, which includes approximately 1,000 journals with more than 219,000 online citations updated daily, is currently available online through the Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN).

Avery Library, founded in 1890 by Mr. Samuel and Mary O. Avery as a memorial to their son, Henry Ogden, holds more than 350,000 volumes in its combined collections of architecture, planning, archaeology, art history and fine arts. In addition to its collection of architecture and art periodicals numbering over 1,500, it has more than 500,000 prized drawings, dating from the Renaissance to the present day, and more than 10, 000 rare books. Scholars can consult materials of a wide historical range at Avery, from the first Western printed book on architecture--a treatise published in 1485 by Leon Battista Alberti--to the most recent architectural monographs on Post-Modernism.