Columbia University Libraries Awarded Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant for Retrospective Conversion

NEW YORK, March 31, 2003 - Columbia University Libraries has received an $810,585 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the retrospective conversion of 307,500 bibliographic records into its online catalog and for addition to the OCLC and the RLIN databases. Robert Wolven, Director of Systems and the Bibliographic Control Division will direct the project.

Columbia has been actively converting records from its card catalogs for thirty years, creating over 1.6 million machine readable records with funding from the University and from external sources. This new grant will bring the bibliographic representation of the general collections in the online catalog to 98 percent, and expand local and global awareness and access to the Columbia collections.

Jim Neal, University Librarian and Vice President for Information Services, said, "This award from the Mellon Foundation enables us to expand bibliographic access to the strong research collections at Columbia for our students and faculty and for scholars throughout the world. Not only will our serials and monograph collections now be fully represented in the database, but we will also be able to include unique pamphlet collections, as well as South Asian, and Middle Eastern materials."

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 7.5 million volumes, over 50,000 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms and other non-print formats. The collections and services are organized into 22 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. The Library's web site at is a gateway to the print and electronic collections and to services.


Patricia Moran
Director of Development
Columbia University Libraries
Columbia University in the City of New York

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