There are two main catalogs for finding books and printed materials in RBML:
- CLIO, the Columbia University Libraries online catalog, contains records for approximately 80% of the ca. 450,000 cataloged volumes in RBML’s rare book collections. See below for CLIO searching tips.
- Card catalogs in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library or on the third floor of Butler Library. The RBML card catalog contains locally-made records for many of the books that are not yet cataloged, as well as additional name and subject entries for some titles. The third-floor catalog, however, is more complete, including cross-references and subject headings not found in the RBML catalog. Many of the titles not included in CLIO can be found in the National Union Catalog, Pre-1956 Imprints (London: Mansell, 1968-1981).
Researchers are advised to use both CLIO and the card catalogs when searching for RBML materials.
For an overview of our over thirty book collections, see the list of Cataloged Book Collections. Uncataloged Book Collections describes our largest collections not represented in either of the main catalogs.
The RBML copies of Columbia University dissertations and master’s essays are housed off-site and must be requested through the University Archives Reference Desk. However, circulating copies of Columbia dissertations should be available from the appropriate departmental library. Not all of the latter are recorded in CLIO. Likewise, for circulating copies of Teachers College dissertations, see EDUCAT, the TC online catalog. Dissertations may be available electronically through ProQuest Dissertations.
For additional help, consult RBML reference staff. There are also specialized card catalogs, indexes and files available in the RBML Reference Center covering specific genres, collections or subjects, a chronological card file of pre-1875 imprints, and a file of books by selected printers and illustrators.