Manuscripts, Papers, and Records


A core resource in locating research material in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library is the finding aid.  Simply put, a finding aid is a descriptive document created to help patrons find research material.  Types of finding aids include file lists, inventories, container and folder lists, card catalogs, databases, published guides—virtually anything that allows one access to large amounts of material.

  • Finding aids for many collections are remotely accessible via the Archival Collections Portal.  Patrons can search across all repositories and collections held in the Columbia University Libraries.
  • All collections can be found in CLIO. For tips on finding archival material through CLIO see the Archives and Manuscripts Help Page.
  • Specialized card catalogs for manuscripts, available in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, allow patrons to search across multiple collections for a specific name or subject.