May 28, 2022

Newspaper Digitization: Columbia University Libraries to Create Spectator Archive

From CUL:

The Columbia University Libraries is pleased to announce a joint project with the Columbia Spectator Board and Staff to digitize, preserve, and make available online the entire run of the Columbia Spectator from 1877 to the present, creating what will be known as the Spectator Archive.

This multiyear project will be conducted in phases to provide permanent, long‐term preservation and online accessibility to every issue of the second-oldest college daily paper in the country.

Digitization will be done from original copies held by Columbia University Archives and the Spectator editorial office.  Once online, it will be possible for any user to search the full text of articles, photo captions, and advertisements, as well as by author and article title. Special care will exercised during scanning to ensure that photograph and illustrations are reproduced as accurately as possible.

“All of us at the Columbia Daily Spectator are thrilled that these unique archives will be preserved for posterity and made accessible to the Columbia community and beyond. On behalf of the Spectator, I thank the staff of the Columbia University Libraries for its energy and professionalism in tackling this important project. Above all, I am grateful to Spectator’s class of ’58 and its friends who, led by Spec alumni Bernard W. Nussbaum and Ernest Brod, raised the funds that enabled us to begin the digitization process,” Wendy Brandes, CC ’89, chairman of the Columbia Daily Spectator Board of Trustees said.

“In safeguarding the history of this great university, the project also preserves the history of New York City.  From its move from Park Place to Madison Avenue to Morningside Heights, Columbia’s development is inextricably woven in the tapestries of neighborhood life, local business, and politics.  It is fitting that this global university may now offer such a deep and rich resource to its international community of alumni and scholars,” Susan Hamson, University Archivist, said.

Additionally, the project involves a cooperative agreement with Cornell University Library under the 2CUL initiative, by which the Columbia Spectator Archive will be hosted on the same platform used for the Cornell Sun student newspaper. The project will be jointly funded and managed by Cornell University Library.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.