Low Plaza

Columbia Libraries Receive Nearly $1 Million in Major Grants

By Lauren Marshall

Columbia University Libraries have received nearly $1 million in grants to support a range of library activities, including research, preservation and the expansion of oral history archives. They include the following:

$1/2 Million from Mellon Foundation Funds The CLiMB Project

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $542,000 grant to support a new Computational Linguistics for Metadata Building (CLiMB) project, which will bring together the most recent developments in natural language processing to make digital library collections, including images, easier to search.

The project is headed by Judith L. Klavans, director of the Center for Research on Information Access (CRIA), an interdisciplinary research unit of the University libraries, and research scientist in the department of computer science.

$325,000 from National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Supports Preservation of Special Collections

A $207,289 NEH grant will enable the preservation of 240 three-dimensional stage models created by Joseph Urban for New York theaters between 1914-1933, including productions for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Metropolitan Opera. The extremely fragile set models will be stabilized and reset so that they can be safely examined by researchers. Digital images of related stage design documents and drawings will be created and linked to the existing online finding aid as a part of the project. Janet Gertz, director of Columbia's Preservation Division, will oversee the project.

The NEH granted $122,483 for the Preserving Oral Histories of 20th-Century Politics project, which will preserve nearly 800 hours of unique taped oral history interviews that encompass almost every aspect of post-World War II American politics. Many interviews contain first hand testimony from those who played major roles in such crucial developments as the Cold War, the career of Richard Nixon, McCarthyism, and the early civil rights movement. The tapes, conducted in the 1950s and 1960s by the Columbia Oral History Research Office, were chosen from the Oral History Research Office collections of over 17,000 hours of interviews. The project is directed by Deputy University Librarian, Patricia Renfro.

$100,000 from The New York Times Neediest Fund enhances 9/11 Response and Recovery Oral History Project

Columbia's Oral History Research Office (OHRO) was awarded $100,000 from the New York Times Neediest Fund to build upon its September 11th archives, which include 400 oral history interviews for its September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project. The new project, the 9/11 Response and Recovery Oral History Project, will focus on the response to 9/11 and the efforts of those who contributed to the recovery.

The funding will be used to conduct 40 new interviews with leaders in the fields of mental health, law, employment, education and philanthropy. An additional set of interviews will be conducted in family settings with people directly traumatized by proximity to the disaster or loss of loved ones. OHRO will also work with youth and adolescents in schools and after-school programs, using oral history to help define and interpret the experience of 9/11 and its aftermath and will develop an interviewer's training program focusing on how to document trauma and publish the results.

The 9/11 Response and Recovery project is directed by Mary Marshall Clark, director of the OHRO. The September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project was co-founded by Clark and Peter Bearman, chair of the sociology department and director of Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.

Published: Jun 18, 2002
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

Search Columbia News    Advanced Search  Help

Phone: 212.854.5573    Office of Public Affairs