Columbia Library columns (v.9(1959Nov-1960May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.9,no.1(1959:Nov): Page 33  

Notable Purchases, i95'8-i95'9

IN NOVEMBER, 1958, a report was presented in these pages
of the notable purchases of library materials that had been
made during the preceding decade. It is hoped that hence¬
forward such reports can be compiled on an annual basis; the
present notes inaugurate that policy.

Each year the Columbia Libraries expend a substantial portion
of their budgeted funds to buy current and older materials in
support of study and research. This continuing accessions pro¬
gram has brought Columbia to, and maintains her in, a high-rank¬
ing position among university libraries in this country. It is
obviously impossible to report here the details of the past year's
accomplishments in adding needed volumes to our resources: liter¬
ally thousands upon thousands of books and pamphlets passed
through the hands of the cataloging staff on their way to the
shelves during the twelvemonth just past. The Law Library, for
example, added 8,414 books and serial volumes to its holdings; the
Medical Library increased its collections by 5,536 items. The gen¬
eral collections of Butler Library have seen the addition of 20,805

We can, however, take notice of some of the less usual collec¬
tions and individual items that have been purchased within the
year, and which add strength to our resources in unexpected ways
or in exceptional depth.

Perhaps the most exceptional and unexpected purchase of
the year was that involving a collection of approximtaely 1,600
Coptic ostraca—potsherds and limestone fragments bearing writ¬
ings in the language and script of the inhabitants of upper (north¬
ern) Egypt during the seventh and eighth centuries of the
Christian era. An article discussing this remarkable purchase and
its importance to the study of linguistic and paleographical mat-
  v.9,no.1(1959:Nov): Page 33