Columbia University Libraries Launches Imperial Corps of Pages Online Exhibition

NEW YORK, October 2, 2003 Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library is pleased to announce the launch of the Russian Imperial Corps of Pages Online Exhibition Catalog, now available on the University Libraries’ Web site at: This is a joint project of the Libraries' Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture and the Libraries Digital Program Division.

The new online exhibition contains over one hundred images and texts from the Imperial Corps of Pages presentation, which was on display from December 2002 until February 2003 in the Kempner Gallery. It offers students, researchers, and descendants of the military school worldwide access to a unique view of the institution that was charged with training officers, statesmen, and other elites of 19th- and early 20th-century Tsarist Russia.

The Imperial Corps of Pages online exhibition catalog is a pilot project that will be retained by Columbia as a permanent electronic resource for those interested in Russian history and culture. In creating this online project, the Libraries Digital Program Division developed a simple toolkit and set of procedures that will allow the Libraries’ curatorial staff to publish additional online exhibition catalogs more easily and frequently in the future.

Stephen Davis, director of the Digital Program at the Libraries, commented that “the set of tools and processes developed for the online Corps of Pages are an important addition to our portfolio of digital library services. It will now be possible for us to preserve and disseminate more of the excellent scholarly and educational exhibitions mounted each year by our Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, and the Starr East Asian Library. An additional benefit of this strategy,” he continued, “is that it also enables us to deposit archival versions of exhibition images and accompanying metadata into our digital image repository so that they can be used for curriculum support and research, and also be archived for long-term retention.”

The Libraries Digital Program Division at Columbia was created in September 2002. The Division is responsible for the digitization of collection-based projects, improving access to and management of Columbia's electronic resources, and implementing technological solutions for the Libraries’ evolving digital needs.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

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10/02/03 JD