Avery Classics Collection
The Avery Classics Collection is the rare book collection of Avery Library and one of the largest architectural rare book collections in the world. Its strengths reflect the Library's original subject scope, established by Avery's founders in 1890: architecture, archaeology, urbanism and the decorative arts.
Hans Vredeman de Vries. Das erst Buch, gemacht auff die zwey Colomnen Dorica vnd Ionica, sampt jren podien, bases, cornicen, capitelen, architraben.... Antwerp, 1576-1578. AA560 V98 F
Le Corbusier. Poème de l'angle droit. Paris, . AA653 J3 P754 F
Eighty-Two Views of Cleveland. Cleveland, [190?]. AA735 C5 Ei44 S
Michigan Stove Company. Specimens of leading specialties from the assortment of the Michigan Stove Company : "The world's best" Garland stoves and ranges. Buffalo, [ca. 1880-1901]. AT3258 M582 1880
Stroitelʹnai︠a︡ promyshlennostʹ. April 1932. LSI 133077
Andrea Pozzo. Rules and examples of perspective, proper for painters and architects, etc. London, 1707. AA2710 P872 F
Louis Bretez. Plan de Paris, commencé l'année 1734. Dessiné et gravé sous les ordres de Messire Michel Étienne Turgot [et al.] Achevé de graver en 1739.... [Paris?, 1739]. AA1045 B75 FF
- Avery Classics contains approximately 40,000 printed volumes published over seven centuries, from Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria (1485) to the recent limited edition volume, Olafur Eliasson’s Your House (2006).
- The Classics collection also has important holdings of graphic suites, periodicals, manuscripts, broadsides, photographs, and printed ephemera.
- All Avery books that were produced before 1801 are in Classics. The collection also includes significant editions of major works created after 1800, as well as works that possess distinctive physical characteristics, such as special bindings, exceptional printing, innovative design, autograph inscriptions, or other signs of former ownership.
- Notable special collections within Classics are the Trade Catalog Collection, which is one of the largest collections of catalogs of the American building trades anywhere, and the American Viewbook Collection, which includes books, pamphlets, and brochures that document cities, towns, and buildings throughout the United States.
Working with the Collection
To Request an Item:
- All items must be requested one day ahead of your visit as there is a 24 hour turnaround time.
- If you are a Columbia University affiliate please fill out this form in advance of your visit.
- If you are not a Columbia University affiliate please email us in advance of your visit and include the title, author, and call number of the item you want.
To Schedule a Class:
- Contact us to schedule a class using Avery Classics materials. Past classes have focused on topics ranging from Renaissance architectural treatises to New York City land maps to Modernism in Print. We are happy to help you to develop sessions relevant to your syllabus.
Reading Room Policies:
- Reader registration
All Avery Classics readers, including affiliates, must complete a reader registration form, valid for the academic calendar year, upon arrival at the Classics Reading Room.
- Photo identification cards
Readers must present traceable photo identification card, such as a valid passport, driver’s license, or card. Photo ID cards are held while material is in use.
- Briefcases, large purses, bags, coats, and umbrellas must be checked with the Reading Room attendant.
- Pencils or laptops only are permitted for note taking.
- For personal use
At the discretion of the assistant in the Classics collections, readers may photograph items for personal reference. Use of tripods and flash is prohibited.
- For publication
To request an image, contact us and be as specific as possible regarding the work of art and intended use. Photographic and/or reproduction fees may be charged for an image request. For general terms and conditions, consult Photographic Services and Fees. Please note that photography may not be available or possible due to the physical condition of objects. It is the patron's responsibility to clear all rights for works of art protected by copyright.
Reading Room Exhibition
Curator: Teresa Harris
December 18, 2017 - May 25, 2018
Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Panorama is derived from the Greek words meaning ‘all’ and ‘view.’ For centuries, popular entertainment has utilized panoramic composition to transport viewers to far-away places like Athens or Versailles or to the midst of important historical events such as the Battle of Gettysburg. Panoramas have taken many forms from large cylindrical paintings to dioramas to photographic and filmic representations. The items on display in the Avery Classics reading room range in time from approximately 1825 to 1966 demonstrating sustained artistic interest in the genre. Most document urban centers and take the form of long prints that follow streets through cities as various as Tokyo, Leipzig, Paris, London and New York. They capture the built environment at a specific moment in time and record other important elements of society such as modes of transportation and contemporary fashion.
Avery Classics Online
- A.J. Downing & His Legacy
- American Viewbooks
- Avery's Architectural Novelties
- Avery's Architectural Ephemera Collections
- Avery Classics on the Avery Library blog
- Biggert Collection of Architectural Vignettes
- Digital Serlio Project
- John H. Yardley Collection of Architectural Letterheads
- New York Real Estate Brochure Collection
- Seymour B. Durst Old York Library
Last updated Jan. 20, 2016