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ARC Partners with Columbia University

It’s taken a while, but here’s the text of the official press release from Columbia University.  Yes, were changing the face (facade) of academic study!


Columbia Forges Partnership with ARChive of Contemporary Music
Collection of be-bop, bluegrass, blues, country, jazz, rap, reggae, rock, zydeco
and other forms to be made available for research and education

NEW YORK, April 6, 2009 — Columbia University has joined in a cooperative agreement with the ARChive of Contemporary Music, the largest collection of popular music in the world, to integrate the resources of the archive into arts programming at the university and other educational and scholarly activities.

The partnership is between the archive, Columbia University Libraries and the Arts Initiative at Columbia. Holdings of the archive include the Keith Richards Blues Collection, endowed by Richards, and the 50,000 disc World Music collection.

“The ARChive is excited to partner with Columbia to create innovative academic initiatives and online content to help with the study, understanding and enjoyment of popular music from all over the world,” said Bob George, director of the archive. “One of the first projects under this new partnership will mount the ARChive’s catalog online, for both students and the general public to access. This initial database, the International Discography, will provide data on a half-million recordings in the collection of over 2 million sound recordings.”

The New York-based archive is supported by a remarkable board of advisors which includes David Bowie, Jellybean Benitez, Jonathan Demme, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, Youssou N’Dour, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Nile Rodgers, Todd Rundgren, Fred Schneider, Martin Scorsese, Paul Simon and Mike Stoller.

“The archive is an extraordinary resource and it is an honor for Columbia to make the collection available for education and scholarship,” said Jim Neal, vice president for information services and University Librarian. “We welcome this opportunity to advance wider availability and use of the archive.”
As part of its continuing commitment to engagement in the city, University Libraries and the Arts Initiative will work with the archive to reach out to interested communities to develop programs and projects that support the work of the partnership. The Arts Initiative will work to develop and implement public programming which highlights the work of the collaboration and brings visibility to the archive.

“The Arts Initiative is especially happy to have collaborated with Jim Neal in the expanded access to this remarkable collection,” said Gregory Mosher, director of the Arts Initiative and adjunct assistant professor of theatre arts. “Connecting the arts with other ways of understanding the world is central to the Arts Initiative’s work, and Bob George’s collection is a unique way of understanding the American, not to mention international, experience as expressed through its most popular art form. We look forward to working with Bob, the library, Columbia’s scholars and artists, and artists from around the world to create unique and compelling programming in the coming years.”

The ARChive of Contemporary Music is a not-for-profit archive, music library and research center located in New York City. It collects, preserves and provides information on the popular music of all cultures and races throughout the world from 1950 to the present. Now in its 24th year, the archive consists of 2 million sound recordings and approximately 3 million photographs, books, press kits, videos, memorabilia and related ephemera.

The Arts Initiative was launched by Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger in February 2004 to re-examine the role of the arts in the university and the university’s role in the arts. Under the direction of Gregory Mosher, the Arts Initiative strives to enliven the arts on campus, connect the campus to the city’s culture, and link the arts with other ways of understanding the world. It collaborates with student and faculty partners across the campus, unconstrained by academic field, and works regularly with the city and national and international cultural partners to make the arts a part of every Columbian’s education and life.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top 5 academic research library systems in North America. Its collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff.

About Columbia University
A leading academic and research university, Columbia University continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time. Columbia’s extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

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