Rare Book & Manuscript Library


In order to use the collections, all visitors to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library are required to create a Special Collections Research Account. Registering as a special collections user also allows you to request materials online before your visit.


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The Columbia University Libraries online catalogue is a primary tool for locating RBML materials.

Archival Collections Portal

This portal provides access to records of archival collections at Columbia University Libraries, including finding aids, collection descriptions and available digital content, such as online exhibits and images.

Oral History Portal

Use this portal to explore the collections of the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH) Archives at RBML.


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Current Exhibition

Plimpton 322
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Exhibition cube by the reference desk

“Plimpton 322” is known throughout the world to those interested in the history of mathematics. In the early 1940s, Otto Neugebauer and his assistant Abraham Sachs, Brown University, interpreted it as containing what is known in mathematics as Pythagorean triples, integer solutions of the equation a2 + b2 = c2, a thousand years before the age of Pythagoras. Recently, researchers at the University of New South Wales, Australia, have made an argument for the tablet as the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table. The tablet is currently on display at the RBML. High definition photographs and a transliteration can be found in the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI).