May 28, 2022

Columbia University: A Banner Bearing the Names of Eight Women Writers Unfurled on the Facade Of Butler Library

UPDATE: CNN Coverage: Columbia’s Library Building Features The Names of Only Male Authors. After 3 Decades Of Trying, These Students Have Fixed That

From The Columbia Spectator:

In 1989, Laura Hotchkiss Brown, GS ’89, attempted to protest the lack of female inclusion in Columbia’s curriculum by hanging a banner above the names of male writers on Butler Library. The banner—made by Brown and four of her friends—featured the names of eight influential female writers.


And 30 years after the initial protest, Columbia Libraries approached Elise Fuller, CC ’19 and vice president of policy in CCSC at the time, with another proposal—to organize a third banner and demonstration to honor both Brown and female literary works.

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the Butler Banner Project hung a banner bearing the names of eight female-identifying writers above the names of the all-male writers on the facade of Butler Library. The banner will be displayed for the remainder of the fall semester.

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More From Columbia University:

…it is part of an inside-outside exhibition led by Columbia students, which is supported and sponsored by Columbia Libraries. Based on an artifact—another banner also bearing the names of women authors—in the Libraries’ collections and a historic campus event, the exhibition aims to foster conversations about representation in University spaces and collections. The exhibition will be on display through December 16, 2019.


This year’s iteration of the banner features the authors Morrison, Diana Chang, Hurston, Ntozake Shange, Maya Angelou, Silko, Gloria E. Anzaldúa and A. Revathi. The inside part of the Butler Banner exhibition also opens in early October, and will be installed on the third floor of Butler. The display will feature the original 1989 banner and student-curated material such as books, photographs and biographical information about each of the eight authors listed on the 2019 banner. The exhibition will include programming such as panel discussions and lectures.

Butler Banner enables the Libraries to showcase artifacts from the University Archives about historical events, and reinforces our commitment to working with our students and the broader Columbia community,” said Ann Thornton, Vice Provost and University Librarian.

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Learn More, Direct to the Butler Banner Website

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.