As J. David Goodman of The New York Times noted, "It’s an incredible resource for floor-plan addicts (or a kind of Streeteasy for time travelers.) There’s definitely a dissertation waiting in all the colorful apartment hyperbole of yore."
The collection was donated to Columbia's Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library by Yale Robbins, Henry Robbins, and David Magier in 1986 and consists of more than 9,000 items including advertising brochures, floor plans, and related materials that document residential and commercial real estate development in the five boroughs of New York and surrounding areas from the 1920s to the 1970s. When completed, the collection will represent more than 4,100 buildings.
The New York Real Estate Brochure Collection is a joint project of the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, the Libraries' Preservation and Digital Conversion Division, and the Libraries' Digital Program Division. It was funded by monies allocated by Columbia University Libraries for the digitization of special and unique materials of permanent research value.