Columbia University Libraries & Their Roles in the Digital World

July 15, 2017 - 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Columbia Global Centers | Beijing

Event Intro

On July 15, Ann Thornton, Vice Provost and University Librarian of Columbia University, Sean Quimby, Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and Jim Cheng, Director of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University, will visit Columbia Global Centers | Beijing. They will present the audiences with topics including the library's role in supporting teaching, learning and research at Columbia, digitization of rare and unique materials held by Columbia, digitization of resources related to Modern China and more. 


About Columbia University Libraries

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 13 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic, and audio-visual materials. The Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff and hosts over 4.7 million visitors each year. 

About The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML)

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) is Columbia's principal repository for primary sources. The range of collections in RBML span more than 4,000 years and comprise rare printed works, cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, papyri, and Coptic ostraca; medieval and renaissance manuscripts; as well as art, realia and born-digital objects. Some 500,000 printed books and 90,000 linear feet (17 miles) of manuscripts, personal papers, and records form the core of the RBML holdings. One can find manuscripts from as early as the 14th century to the modern archives relating to Herman Wouk, Erica Jong, Sergei Prokofiev, and Arthur Mitchell. Archives as varied as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Random House, and Amnesty International-USA, and the archives of Columbia University are available for research.


About Columbia C.V. Starr East Asian Library

The C. V. Starr East Asian Library is one of the major collections on the study of East Asia in the United States, with over 1,000,000 volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Mongol, Manchu, and Western-language materials and almost 7,500 periodical titles, and more than 55 newspapers. Subject emphasis is on the humanities and social sciences. The Chinese collection is particularly strong in history, philosophy, traditional literature, and increasingly in film studies. 

The Kress Special Collections Reading Room provides access to the rare book, special, and archival collections, especially strong in Chinese local histories and genealogies, Japanese Edo-period wood block-printed books, and the Korean Yi Song-yi Collection of rare books, as well as extensive collections of non-print materials such as ancient Chinese oracle bones and Chinese paper god prints from the early twentieth century.

The East Asian Library has its origins in 1902, when the University Trustees approved the establishment of a Department of Chinese, based on a donation made specifically for that purpose. Frederick Hirth was appointed the first Dean Lung Professor of Chinese at Columbia, as well as the first curator of the Chinese book collection.




Ann Thornton

Vice Provost and University Librarian, Columbia University

Sean Quimby

Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University


Jim Cheng

Director of the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University



Columbia Global Centers | Beijing.

West Gate, Core Plaza. 1 Shanyuan Street, Haidian District, Beijing, China.


To RSVP, please Click here.

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