Friday, May 30, 2008

Academic Commons (no longer DigitalCommons)

On Monday, if all goes well, our current institutional repository system (DigitalCommons@Columbia) will be replaced by the new "Academic Commons" repository. You can preview Academic Commons.

Initially the content of Academic Commons will be the same as DigitalCommons, with the same three content 'communities':
Center on Japanese Economy and Business working papers, etc.
Economics Department discussion papers
Columbia Dissertations and Theses
Over the next months you'll be hearing from the new Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS) about plans for enlarging Academic Commons with additional collections and communities.

Under the hood Academic Commons differs from Digital Commons in that it is built on a local implementation of the open source dSpace software, rather than on the commercially-vended, remotely-hosted ProQuest system. The dSpace-based system will allow us more flexibility in developing our institutional repository over time and more options for integrating the content into other CUL and campus information systems.

We have tried to minimize the impact of this change on current users by configuring a full set of redirects from the old system to the new, so as not to break bookmarks or URL references that users of the DigitalCommons may have made. All items in Academic Commons now and in the future will have a permanent CNRI "handle" assigned rather than the ProQuest-specific URLs available in DigitalCommons.

The main differences between Academic Commons and DigitalCommons that staff might encounter are in the Columbia Dissertations and Theses collection. In the new system, descriptive information displayed for Columbia dissertations will now be based on catalog records extracted from CLIO rather than on data supplied directly by ProQuest. (Actually what's displayed in Academic Commons is a combination of CLIO and ProQuest data, since we want to continue to acquire and load ProQuest's valuable dissertation abstracts in Academic Commons and CLIO.) This change in information flow will mean, among other things, that individual dissertations may show up in Academic Commons at different times than they do in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses or would have in DigitalCommons. The actual workflows for getting accurate information about new online dissertations into CLIO and then into Academic Commons are still being developed and will doubtless improve over time.

Other differences in the Columbia Dissertations collection include:
Answers to Other Likely Questions:

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Census Volumes Moved

As part of the relocation of the U.S. government documents depository collection, the decennial census volumes have been transferred to Lehman Library.

The census volumes 1950-2000 are now located at HA 201 [yr] in the Lehman stacks downstairs. They are all non-circulating.

CLIO records are in the process of updating, as are the census web pages.

I hope to have all of the web pages updated within the next two weeks, but I'm sure that there will be a few errant volumes to deal with over the summer.

Jerry Breeze
Government Information Librarian
Lehman Library

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Thursday, May 15, 2008


Did you know that there is a Columbia University wiki, and that it deals with our library in a dismissive manner?

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Readex Serial Set--Subject Headings

The Readex online version of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set currently covers 1817-1942. MARC records are being added in batches to CLIO, and at the moment these records go up through 1890.

At this point, I thought it might be useful to say a few words about the subject headings used in the Readex Serial Set, since these are the same as the headings used in the MARC records for it in CLIO. Readex's subject headings differ substantially from LCSH. (In the CLIO subject headings browse lists, the Readex headings will be described as "General heading[s].")

One reasonably consistent difference between the Readex headings and LCSH is that the Readex headings usually omit any reference to "United States" or "North America."

For example, consider the following headings used in the record copied at the end of this message:

Readex heading: Boundaries
comparable LCSH: United States--Boundaries

Readex heading: Indian Removal
comparable LCSH: Indians of North America--Relocation

The Readex Serial Set itself provides many options for browsing its subject headings. You may find it easiest to go there directly if you are having difficulty identifying relevant subject headings in CLIO. The aim of the folks at Readex was to describe the contents of the Serial Set publications with maximal precision; and their subject headings diverge from LCSH in a wide variety of ways.

If people have any questions about the Readex Serial Set or would like to schedule a demo / question & answer session, please let me know. I would be glad to provide one.

John Tofanelli
Anglo-American History & Literature Librarian

Sample CLIO Record for Readex's U.S. CONGRESSIONAL SERIAL SET:

Author: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Indian Affairs. (1822-1946).
Title: Southern Ute Indians. March 7, 1888. -- Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed. [electronic resource]
Physical Description: 10 p.
Series: United States congressional serial set ; serial no. 2600
United States. Congress. (50th Congress, 1st Session, 1887-1888). House. Report. 861.
Publisher/ Date: Washington, DC: March 7, 1888
Click here for full text.
System Details: Mode of access: World wide web.
Restrictions: Copyright ©2007 by NewsBank, Inc. All rights reserved.
Other Subject Terms:
Congressional hearings
Federal-Indian relations
Indian and white depredations
Indian removal
Indian reservations
Legislative amendments
Tribal trust funds
Congressional witnesses
Legislative Report - Public Bills
(49) S. 1916
(49) S. 769
(50) H.R. 1265
Added Entries: Perry, William Hayne, 1839-1902. Democrat (SC).

Reproduction Note: Electronic reproduction. Chester, Vt.: NewsBank, inc., 2005. Available via the World Wide Web. Access restricted to Readex U.S. Congressional Serial Set subscribers.
Material Type: Periodical
Location (guide): LibraryWeb
Call Number: EBOOKS
Status: No information available

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Databases

Here are some new databases which have been added to main list: You can find more detailed descriptions by accessing these through the A-Z list.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

Attic Grave Reliefs of the Late 5th and the 4th Century BC

Census of Antique Art and Architecure Known to the Renaissance

Scriptores Possessoresque: Database of Mediaeval Manuscripts' Scribes and Owners

TBRC Digital Library:Tibetan Buddhist Resource

Historical Black Newspapers
Full text and full-image articles from African American newspapers:
Atlanta Daily World, Los Angeles Sentinel, New York Amsterdam News,
Pittsburgh Courier, and The Chicago Defender.

Travel and Tourism Analyst

Literature Criticism Online <>1 <>Database of encyclopedias of literary criticism: Contemporary Literary Criticism, Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, Literature Criticism from 1400–1800, Shakespearean Criticism, Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Poetry Criticism, Short Story Criticism, Drama Criticism, Children's Literature Review.

Urban Studies Abstracts

Peace Research Abstracts

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Library Essentials Debuts

Library Essentials, a collection of online tutorials to help students with their research:

Workshops & Research Help -- General Research Skills

Ask Us -- Help Yourself

LibraryWeb Help

LibraryWeb Site Index

Created by Columbia CourseWorks Committee with help from CCNMTL, LDPD, and LITO.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Columbia books at the Internet Archive

from Janet Gertz:

The Internet Archive has now created a homepage for the books being digitized from Columbia's collections.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Foreign Broadcast Information Service

The United States' principal record of political and historical open source intelligence.


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