New York, NY (April 14, 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 including Richards, David Bowie, Jellybean Benitez, Jonathan Demme, Ellie Greenwich, Jerry Leiber, Youssou N’Dour, Lou Reed, 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 that 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.