Using Collections


The collections of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) and its various units are open for research and reference use by all members of the University community and the public. All materials are non-circulating.

While no appointments are necessary, we strongly recommend that you contact RBML before you visit. Many collections are stored off-site and others may have access restrictions.

Patrons may use pencil and paper or laptops for note taking while consulting collections. Electrical outlets are located throughout the reading rooms and wireless access is available throughout the building. Digital photography is permitted; please consult the reference desk staff for specific guidelines.

Special Note about Oral History Collections

Some Oral History interviews and all audio and video require advance notice as some items are restricted or stored off-site. If you are traveling from some distance, we recommend you contact Columbia Center for Oral History staff in advance by calling (212) 854-7083, or via e-mail, to insure that the transcripts you wish to consult are available.