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Mellon Foundation Gives $563,000 Grant to Libraries

Columbia University Libraries has received a $563,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund a three-year pilot project that will award a series of internships to graduate students to collaborate with librarians in the organization and description of primary source collections. The project begins July 2.

Columbia University Library
Butler Library

The goal is to make visible the University's "hidden collections," with assistance from 36 internship positions over the next three years.

“With this project, libraries and the academic programs they serve will partner to advance their respective missions – improving access to collections and strengthening graduate education,” said James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian. “We are enormously grateful to the Mellon Foundation for this opportunity to further those goals.”

The internships will benefit the Columbia community as well as researchers, scholars and educators worldwide. By facilitating the processing of Columbia’s large special collections, the project addresses the need to provide timely access to primary source collections that require processing and preservation to make them available for research and learning.

At the same time, graduate students enhance their knowledge of primary sources relevant to their own work and learn to understand the nature, origin, and uses of primary sources in ways that would have been impossible without the internships. This will allow them to better structure research projects and better evaluate sources used.

“As a historian, I am always delighted to see an initiative that helps make original materials available to scholars while giving graduate students valuable training in the use of primary resources. As provost, I am very grateful to the Mellon Foundation for supporting this project,” said Alan Brinkley, Provost and Allan Nevins Professor of American History at Columbia University.

Published: July 2, 2007
Last modified: Jul 19, 2007