The 1883 Memorial to the Columbia College Board of Trustees
credit: Northeast Document Conservation Center
In the spring of 2003, 120 years after it was presented to the Columbia College Trustees, the 1883 Memorial was returned to the Barnard College Archives by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. This followed a process of manual restoration that took the better part of a year, made possible by a generous gift from the class of 1942. Originally rolled on a wooden dowel, too fragile to be examined for many years, the 75-foot document was meticulously repaired, flattened, photographed, and cut into 26 sections, which were individually enclosed in Mylar. One year later, in 2004, portions of the conserved document were shown for the first time as part of the Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections exhibit in honor of Columbia University's 250th anniversary.