About the Project

Columbia Library Columns, the newsletter published by The Friends of Columbia Libraries, was published from 1951 to 1996. It was edited by Roland Baughman, Head of Columbia's Department of Special Collections, until his death in 1967; then by Kenneth A. Lohf, until his retirement in 1992; then, briefly, by Jean Ashton and Michael Stoller. Its final issue was Autumn 1996.

Over the years contributors included faculty, University adminstrators, writers, historians and collectors, as well as Columbia librarians. Articles focused on individual collections, special acquisitions, literary topics and issues relating to the growth of Columbia's libraries and special collections generally.

The original goal in digitizing this journal was to provide access to the journal’s rich trove of information about individual special collections at Columbia, in articles written by donors, scholars and curators. Included, for example, are pieces by L.S. Alexander Gumby, who from 1901 to 1950 maintained extensive scrapbooks about every aspect of the “American Negro;” by Richard B. Morris on the collections of papers of John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, and the Mayor’s Court of New York City; by Jacques Barzun on the Hector Berlioz Collection; by Virgil Thomson on Gertrude Stein; and many others.

The journal also provides a wealth of information on issues relating broadly to the growth of Columbia University Libraries and its special collections during the forty-five years of its publication.

The project to digitize Columbia Library Columns was a joint effort of the Columbia University's Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Preservation and Digital Conversion Division, and the Libraries Digital Program Division.

Project Statistics:

Holdings: v.1 (1951) - v. 46 (1997)
Total number of issues: 137
Total number of images: 6904