Web Archives

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The Columbia University Libraries have been capturing Columbia domain websites via the Archive-It service since June 2010. All sites with a columbia.edu web address are included in our web crawls. In addition, select sites without a columbia.edu address, for example those for publications and student groups, have been identified and are also captured in the web crawls. In 2015 we transitioned from a once-a-year crawl of the entire web domain in December to a semi-annual crawl in June and December. Certain pages, especially those containing information concerning course offerings, are crawled quarterly to make sure all course offerings for fall, spring and summer sessions are captured.

Recently University Archives staff identified areas of the Columbia University website that would be of particular interest or use to researchers. Select webpages have been described and categorized within our Archive-It site in order to make it easier for a user to find sites related to the following groups: administration, alumni magazines, athletics, centers and institutes, course bulletins, honors and awards, libraries, schools and departments, student organizations, and student publications.

The most frequently requested information from the Columbia web archive is in the area of course descriptions. As schools moved course description information from annual published paper catalogues to online-only distribution, we have found that our web archiving efforts often provide the only publicly available access points to old, online course descriptions. Although not every course description for every school has been captured, one can usually find descriptions for courses offered by Columbia College, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of General Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), Graduate School of Architecture and Architectural Planning (GSAAP), and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). If a school only posted online course descriptions in the CourseWorks system, that content was not able to be collected due to the secure nature of the site. 

Please select the course bulletin grouping to help your search for course descriptions from 2010 onwards. For online course information created prior to 2010, we recommend using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to search for older captures of www.columbia.edu and then navigating the archived Columbia University website to the appropriate school or department pages to look for online course descriptions.

If you encounter any dead links on our archived pages or have any further suggestions as to what should be captured or highlighted, please email uarchives@columbia.edu.