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FOR RELEASE:
Gwen Glazer, 607-254-8390, gglazer@cornell.edu
Emily Donahue, 212-854-5289, e.donahue@columbia.edu

2CUL Partnership Expands Southeast Asian Studies Collaboration

(NEW YORK, June 8, 2011) – Expert librarians from Cornell University Library in the field of Southeast Asian Studies will extend their services and collections to the entire academic community at Columbia University.

Thanks to the innovative 2CUL partnership between the institutions, faculty, students and staff at both universities will be able to borrow books and other materials in an expedited manner from either library. Through this new formal arrangement, Cornell’s two Southeast Asia librarians will work with faculty and students at Columbia, offering in-depth reference services.

They will also work directly with Columbia’s librarians, providing advice on collection development and selecting materials. Cornell will provide improved access to materials in multiple languages, including Burmese, Filipino, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao, Malaysian, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. Columbia will continue to maintain and enhance its English language resource collection.

This new agreement builds upon the success of 2CUL’s first resource-sharing agreement: collaborative collection development and research help in Slavic and East European Studies, which was implemented in fall 2010.

“We hold the most comprehensive collection on Southeast Asia at an academic institution in the world,” said Anne R. Kenney, Cornell’s Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. “The breadth and depth of our expertise in this area will help users at Columbia, just as Columbia’s experience with Slavic Studies helps our users. This partnership enables us to keep these specialized areas vibrant and growing, in a sustainable way, for the sake of deep scholarship at both institutions.”

Faculty members and graduate students at both schools will have direct access to Cornell’s Southeast Asian Librarians — Greg Green and Jeffrey Peterson, curator and assistant curator of the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia — via telephone, email or video conference for advanced queries and research topics specifically related to Southeast Asian language resources. Green and Peterson will also visit Columbia’s campus each semester to provide in-person instruction and consultation services; Columbia’s librarians will still provide English-language resource support.

“The 2CUL collaboration provides a great opportunity for us to find ways to better collect material from and about Southeast Asia and improve access to the collections for students and scholars at both institutions,” Green said. “We’ve always worked hard to provide good service to people from all over the world, and this agreement formally recognizes our commitment to share this amazing treasure.”

Cornell’s Echols Collection, established in 1977, contains more than 450,000 volumes and covers Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Its goal is to gather every single publication of research value produced in the countries of Southeast Asia and publications about the region published in other parts of the world.

“Formalizing the Southeast Asian Studies collaboration between Cornell and Columbia is a significant step in developing new and innovative models for building specialized global collections,” said Pamela Graham, Director of Area Studies at Columbia University Libraries. “Our Columbia community will have more visible and direct access to the remarkable collections and expertise at Cornell. We look forward to working in partnership with our colleagues at Cornell to advance our common mission of building distinctive research collections and providing excellent service to faculty, students and scholars.”

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 11 million volumes, over 150,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

Cornell University Library is both an Ivy League institution and New York's land-grant university. Among the top ten academic research libraries in the country, Cornell University Library reflects the university's distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and facilities, a full spectrum of services, extensive collections that represent the depth and breadth of the university, and a deep network of digital resources. Its impact reaches beyond campus boundaries with initiatives that extend the land grant mission to a global focus. To learn more, visit library.cornell.edu.