Columbia University Libraries Receives Grant from NY State Conservation/Preservation Program

NEW YORK, August 29, 2003 - Columbia was awarded $129,025 for a two year project to re-record 2,000 hours of at-risk recordings documenting Jewish experiences in Europe and New York as well as local history, culture and social developments in New York State during the twentieth century. The recordings come from three pre-eminent New York institutions: Columbia University, the State University of New York at Binghamton, and the University of Rochester.

Janet Gertz, the Director of Preservation at Columbia University Libraries, said: "The New York State Grant Program has been immensely valuable in saving the cultural and intellectual heritage of the citizens of New York since it was established in 1984. This particular project will allow Columbia to complete the preservation of the Language and Culture Archive of Ashkenazic Jewry recordings of native Yiddish speakers, one of the largest such collections in the country, along with important recordings from the other participant libraries".

The Library is also a participant in a second project awarded $81,000 and managed by the University of Rochester. The award, for the preservation of historic photographs 2003-2004, will address older photographic collection on unstable film bases and acidic photographic paper mounts. They will preserve and make accessible these valuable collections by generating copy negatives, contact print "reference" copies and new archival masters as needed. Specifically, Columbia's role in this project will be to preserve historical film negatives and prints from two unique collections in the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, the Samuel Gottscho Collection, and the Empire State Building Archive.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 7.5 million volumes, over 50,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats. The collections and services are organized into 22 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines.  The Library's web site at is a gateway to the print and electronic collections and to services.

For information contact:

Communications Coordinator