Rare Book & Manuscript Library Launches Online Exhibit on Right-Wing Political Iconography in the Group Research, Inc. Records
NEW YORK, October 6, 2010 –

Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library has launched "Choosing Sides: Right-Wing Icons in the Group Research Records," an online exhibition now available on the Libraries' website at: http://www.columbia.edu/cgi-bin/cul/resolve?clio7888001.


"Choosing Sides" features more than fifty items documenting right-wing political movements in the United States from the 1960s to the early 1990s. Drawing from the diverse resources of the Group Research, Inc. Records, this exhibition showcases the imagery that appeared on flyers, brochures, books, newsletters, record albums, bumper stickers, and other physical objects produced by conservative artists and designers. Collectively, these images reveal the critical role that visual media played in the recruitment and publicity strategies of right-wing activists as they helped shape the discourses of modern American conservatism.

Journalist Wesley McCune founded Group Research, Inc. in 1962 as an institution devoted to documenting and publicizing the affairs of "extremist" activists and organizations in the United States. Columbia's Rare Book & Manuscript Library purchased Group Research's archives upon its dissolution in 1996, and today the Group Research, Inc. Records comprise more than 500 document boxes of archival material related to right-wing organizations spanning the years 1955-1996. More than 1,400 published titles written by or about conservatives make up the related Group Research Collection of printed materials, also owned by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Taken together, these collections provide an unparalleled overview of the development of right-wing US politics in the second half of the twentieth century.

"Choosing Sides" was organized and overseen by Nicholas Osborne, a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University. This exhibition is published online by the Libraries Digital Program Division, one of the many E-Resources accessible to the Columbia community and the public.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns over 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, childrenā€˜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 more information, please see: /content/libraryweb/indiv/rbml.html

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 is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.  

10/6/10 LMK