Curator Lecture Series at Columbia University to Feature Janet Parks

NEW YORK, November 30, 2009 -- Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings and Archives in the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, will speak at Columbia University on "Curator’s Choice: Architectural Archives in Avery Library." The talk, sponsored by the Friends of Columbia Libraries, will take place on Wednesday, December 9th at 6 p.m. in Butler Library Room 523 on the Morningside Campus, and is free and open to the public.

Curator's Choice: Architectural Archives in Avery Library

Curator’s choice usually means the selection of specific objects as highlights of a collection. For this talk, however, Parks will explore how her acquisition of collections, building upon the curatorial and intellectual traditions of Avery Library, has created a vibrant archive of 19th and 20th century American architecture.

Janet Parks has been Curator of Drawings and Archives at Columbia University since 1979. She is the curator of numerous exhibitions on Avery collections, including the award-winning The Old World Builds the New: The Guastavino Company and the Technology of the Catalan Vault (1996); Mastering McKim's Plan (1997); and The Troubled Search: The Work of Max Abramovitz (2004). She was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award in 2006 from the New York Chapter of the Victorian Society of America.

A reception will follow the presentation. For more information, or to attend, please respond to To view a listing of events, visit

The Friends of the Columbia Libraries aim to cultivate an informed interest in and support for the Columbia Libraries. The Friends foster the growth and improvement of the Libraries through financial and in-kind gifts and provide opportunities for creating, collecting, and preserving library materials. The Friends also promote the visibility of the Libraries through sponsorship of educational and social events.

The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is one of the most comprehensive collections relating to architecture and the fine arts in the world. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced study of architecture, historic preservation, art history, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archeology. The Library contains more than 400,000 volumes, including 35,000 rare books, and receives approximately 1,000 periodicals. Avery’s Drawings and Archives collection includes one million architectural drawings and records.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.