Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library Offers Graduate Internships in Manuscripts and Archives

NEW YORK, July 13, 2006 Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library will host seven graduate-student interns this summer, as part of a pilot program funded by the University. Beginning in July, interns will work under supervision of Library staff to help organize and describe collections of manuscripts, correspondence, and other primary-source documents, in order to gain valuable hands-on experience with unedited historical and textual records.


“My colleagues and I in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library regard this innovative and exciting pilot project as an opportunity both to introduce graduate students to the stuff of research and to improve access to our rich corpus of manuscript materials,” said Michael Ryan, director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. “The Columbia Libraries constitutes a hugely important repository of manuscripts and manuscript collections. We, its stewards, want to help Columbia students understand and make better use of these resources in their work.”

The internships will run through August, and will focus on a range of collections and sources selected in consultation with the Library staff. Each intern will work with a staff mentor with expertise in his or her area of graduate study at Columbia.

The summer 2006 program will include the following the interns and mentors: Natasha Ermolaev, a graduate student in Slavic Languages, will work with Tanya Chebotarev, curator of the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian & East European Culture; Jessica Fenn, a graduate student in English & Comparative Literature and Michael Heil, a graduate student in History, with work under the supervision of Consuelo Dutschke, curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts; Julie Golia, a graduate student in History, will be supervised by Susan Hamson director of the University Archives; April Holm, a graduate student in History and Alyssa Meyers, a graduate student in English & Comparative Literature, will work with Patrick Lawlor, coordinator of technical services at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library; and Lara Nettelfield, a graduate student in Political Science, will work with Csaba Szilagyi, curator of the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research.

The interns will work at the Rare Book & Manuscript library half-time, and will each receive an award of $3000. Interns will have an opportunity to renew their appointments on a competitive basis for the regular academic year. For further information, contact Michael Ryan at

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.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns over 600,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 26 million manuscripts in nearly 2,600 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, children’s literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. For additional information about the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, please call 212-854-5153 or see:

09/28/06 ICL