Information Sheet for Database Vendors

This is an overview of Columbia University's information environment. For more details contact the Electronic Resources Librarian.



Columbia University, located in New York City. is a major U.S. research university. (More Information)

2. SIZE OF SITE IN NUMBER OF USERS: (updated 05.15.14) : Counts are for full-time equivalents.
Columbia University Division Students Faculty Total
Columbia 26,2591 3,8061 30,065
Barnard 2,4722 2432 2,715
Teachers College 3,4503 2803 3,730
Union Theological Seminary 213.44 334 246.4
Totals 32,394.4 4,362 36,756.4

1 From Columbia Statistical Abstract dated 2014.12.09

2 From Barnard CDS data

3 From Teachers College, Dept of Institutional Studies, email dated 4.24.14
4 From Burke Library Director, email dated 5.1.2014


Licensed electronic resources must be able to be made available to the entire (current) Columbia community, including locations in campus buildings, dorms, offices, libraries, as well as to off-campus locations such as faculty offices and housing. All Columbia users of licensed commercial resources are validated through the University's authentication/authorization system, using either Kerberos or an equivalent Web-based technique.


Domain name: *

Proxy Server: The Libraries operates a rewriting proxy server from within campus ip ranges, at present on the subnet.

Columbia IP Address Ranges: NOTE: The information below is correct as of 08.14.09. All IP addresses within these ranges are for Columbia University.

Network Address Range Type CIDR Notation Description (i.e., 128.59.*.*) CLASS B Morningside Heights (i.e., 129.236.*.*) CLASS B Lamont Doherty / Nevis (i.e., 156.111.*.*) (i.e., 156.145.*.*)
Columbia Medical Center (i.e., 160.39.*.*) CLASS B CIESIN
Morningside Heights: Barnard College (i.e., 192.12.82.*) CLASS C [testing, etc.] (i.e., 192.5.43.*) CLASS C  
207.10.136-143.0 (i.e., 207.10.136-143.*) CLASS C 207.10.136-143.0/21 (i.e., 209.2.47.*) CLASS C  
209.2.48-51.0 (i.e., 209.2.48-51.*) CLASS C 209.2.48-51.0/22 International House Dormitory (i.e., 209.2.185.*) CLASS C  
209.2.208-223.0 (i.e., 209.2.208-223.*) CLASS C 209.2.208-223.0/20 Interchurch Building
209.2.224-239.0 (i.e., 209.2.224-239.*) CLASS C 209.2.224-239.0/20  


  • In the above notation scheme "0" (zero) or "*" (asterisk) is used as a placeholder for all numbers in the range 0-255.
  • This table formerly included CLASS C IP range 192.5.43.* However, here are currently no devices on that network and it is unlikely that any future residents on that network will be Columbia- affiliated.
  • CIESIN (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) added 7/23/98.
  • Columbia Biosphere addresses changed 9/23/99.
  • New HS range added 3/15/2001.
  • Columbia Biosphere addresses removed, 12/23/2003.
  • Use of Class C license clarified, 9/20/2004.


CU Internet Connection: Central campus has a 155 Mbps connection to Broadwing, which provides access to the commodity Internet. The university is also a member of NYSERNet, with a 155 Mbps Internet 2 connection via the Abilene network. Students, faculty and staff have the option of connecting their personal computers directly to the campus network using high-speed wired ethernet or wireless service. Many connect to campus remotely via non-Columbia ISPs. A small campus modem pool is available as backup for those without ISP access.


No campus-wide statistics are available. Staff, desktop & laptop machines are normally either Intel or Apple Macintosh PCs running various levels of Microsoft & Apple software. Public workstations include Intel-based PCs running Linux.


We strongly prefer "open" products at Columbia that are wide-area networkable across all platforms and searchable using recognized national and de facto standards. No local loading of databases is feasible because of the high costs and overhead associated with it. Proprietary database packages or retrieval systems are not normally purchased or supported by Columbia University Libraries.

Browser Requirements. All access and full functionality must be available to those with either Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer. In addition, because Columbia continues to have a number of users with slower, modem-based connections, all information and services should be usable at dial-up speeds as well.

Title-level Access. It is extremely important for us to be able to connect from our own Web-based campus information system menus directly to specific external databases or "titles," rather than via vendor "welcome" or menu screens. Because we obtain online services from a large number of information vendors, we need to be able to interpose our own menus, finding aids, expert help systems, etc. between the user and specific remote resources. In other words, we need to be able to go directly from a menu entry on our system to the actual opening search screen of a SINGLE remote database, without having users navigate additional introductory vendor screens or menus. If we are licensing multiple databases from a single vendor, each must be individually addressable at a single URL.


We encourage vendors to contact us to discuss these requirements if there are any questions about them.

Proxy Server. Columbia employs a proxy server when needed to provide access to members of the Columbia community not directly connected to the campus network.EZproxy URL:

OpenURL. Columbia uses link resolver software to connect users to online full text options and to internal services for locating and requesting full text. The openURL resolver accepts queries in versions 0.1 and 1.0.

Z39.50. CLIO (Columbia's Voyager-based online public access catalog) is Z39.50 capable and can be accessed using a Z39.50 client with the following connection settings:

Personal IDs/Passwords. Authentication via individual, personal id/passwords is unworkable at Columbia, given the size of the campus and the number of departments, schools, centers needing access to networked information.

Cookies Policy. Persistent cookies' are not an acceptable means of authorization or profiling in the Columbia environment. Public workstations are configured to erase all temporary files each time the browser is restarted. Session cookies used by the vendor solely for authorization or session-management are acceptable.

Privacy Requirements. Services licensed by Columbia that gather user or marketing data are required to notify users in each session how and why this data is being collected and to provide users the option of not having such data collected about them.


Information providers with whom Columbia contracts for access to databases or other information services are asked to communicate with us regularly and in a timely way about the following:

  • Planned service unavailability
  • Expected uptime after extended emergency downtime
  • Any significant change in the content or scope of the database or information service
  • Any significant change or enhancement to the user interface, searching capabilities, technical requirements (e.g., Java, XML, special plug-ins)
  • Any change to existing authentication / authorization techniques
  • Any change to the base URL to which local users and interfaces must connect. (This is important in order for us to update local proxy servers and Web interfaces.)
  • Any other change to the service that might affect local systems, user access, local documentation, or the scope and nature of the service

Vendors are asked to forward such information via email to CU Libraries at the following address:

Usage Statistics. CU Libraries strongly prefer that statistics be provided in a COUNTER compliant format. Vendors are requested to collect, format and make available use statistics to us as described in those guidelines.