The Columbia University Libraries Announce New Acquisitions

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Asaina Karako Asobi (Playing Chinese Children) 1781 and Motoki ni Masaru Uwakibanashi  (Dreaming of Future Business) 1790 – The C.V. Starr East Asian Library acquired both three volume sets of so-called “kibyōshigenre literary work, or narrative fiction for adults, characterized by witticism (or wordplay) and satire, consisting mainly of illustrations with sentences in margins.) These add to the existing collections in this genre.

Eiri Genji Kokogami (Illustrated Tale of Genji Small Mirror) - Starr Library acquired the three-volume set of the Tale of Genji digest (kokagami) is printed with high quality illustrations of the Tale of Genji (the most important Japanese literary work by a female author, Murasaki Shikibu written in the 11th century) and accompanying text, which is very important.  It was printed late 17th century.

Grierson Collection – Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library acquired this collection of templates, stencils, and other works accomplished by the firm of Peter C. Grierson & Company of Hartford CT, circa 1890s-1920s. It includes approximately 400-500 drawings, watercolors, templates, and stencils used for decorative painting of walls, furniture, and other objects. This is considered to be a very rare collection used in the creation of interior decoration for middle-class families.

Hungarian serials and monographs - Global Studies and Avery jointly acquired a collection of four rare Hungarian serials, and 13 monographs, dating principally from the interwar period. This builds growing collections of sources on artistic and literary movements from Central and Eastern Europe – an under-collected area, especially compared to extensive documentation of the West European and Russian avante-garde.


Mission Postcards – Burke Theological Library acquired 254 postcards issued by Protestant Missionary Societies operating in the Developing World during the early to mid-20th century. The countries covered include Africa, India, China, Burma, Korea, Japan, New Guinea, Argentina, Chile, the Middle East and World Mission.  This collection complements the current collection of 623 Protestant Mission postcards in the Burke Library, previously purchased from this same vendor.  Each card has been enumerated to ensure that there are no duplicate items in the collection or in his offer.  The addition of this group would bring Burke's holdings of Protestant Mission postcards to almost 900 unique pieces, making this one of the richest collections of its kind anywhere. 

Pliny Fisk Diary and Final Letter (Three manuscript journals dated 1819 -1821, with an unbound manuscript letter [Oct 20, 1825]) – Burke acquired the bound volume entitled “Journal of the American Mission to Western Asia, commenced in Nov. 1819 by Pliny Fisk & Levi Parsons.” Fisk was one of the first American Protestant missionaries to be sent out in 1819 by the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions as the newly formed Palestine Mission to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Rendering of Washington Monument for Union Square, Manhattan, 1844, Calvin Pollard (1797-1850) – Avery acquired this work of Calvin Pollard (1797-1850), a prominent New York City builder and architect known primarily for works in the Greek Revival style. Avery Library Drawings and Archives has 41 items by Pollard.  This drawing was Pollard’s winning entry in the 1844 competition for a site in Union Square, a design heretofore known only through a lithograph sold at the time.  This is a wonderful resource for the study of the history of public monuments and sculpture in 19th century New York.

The Primary Research Acquisitions Program is an initiative designed to encourage selectors to locate and purchase unique resources in their fields. Materials to be considered are newly identified unique materials, beyond an individual selector's budget.  Such materials include rare books, archival collections, or other special opportunities. They do not include digital resources, which are by their nature not unique, or special reprint editions of even valuable materials that can be purchased by other libraries as well.

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: