Columbia University Archives Joins the Columbia University Libraries

NEW YORK, January 31, 2007 Effective July 1, 2006, the Columbia University Archives joined the Columbia Libraries as part of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The merger will benefit both repositories, allowing them to share and consolidate staff expertise and plan strategically to better serve the University and scholarly communities.


The combined collections of the two repositories comprises some 45,000 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections. The Archives collections include official University records, alumni memorabilia, publications, photographs, and the records of student organizations. These unique materials will become part of the Libraries holdings and will benefit from access to Library staff expertise in conservation, management, and development. This new partnership will guarantee the integrity and quality of the University Archives for generations to come.

The University Archives (formerly known as the University Archives & Columbiana Library), was established in 1988 under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary of the University as both an archives and records management program. The University Archives appraises, collects, describes, preserves and provides access to records that document the evolution of all aspects of the University. Serving administrators, faculty, students and outside researchers from around the world, the University Archives assists constituents on numerous topics associated with Columbia University, including contributions to teaching and research, campus life, and the University’s role in the history of the metropolitan, national and international communities.


The University Archives continues to reside in the historical reading room located in 210 Low Memorial Library. Guests are invited to visit the Archives, ask questions and explore the richness of Columbia University history.

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library owns over 500,000 rare books in some 20 book collections and almost 28 million manuscripts in nearly 3,000 separate manuscript collections. It is particularly strong in English and American literature and history, classical authors, children‘s literature, education, mathematics and astronomy, economics and banking, photography, the history of printing, New York City politics, librarianship, and the performing arts. Individual collections are as eclectic as they are extensive. For more information, please see: