Access Services

Use of the Library

Avery is open to current Columbia University students, faculty, and staff, and alumni and retirees of the university with valid CUID.  For more information, including how to obtain an alumni or retiree ID, please visit the Columbia University Libraries Visitors Page.  All others interested in visiting Avery Library and its collections should email

For use of the Classics (Rare Book) collection, see details on the Classics page.

For use of the Drawings & Archives collection, see details on the Drawings & Archives page.


Please consult the Hours calendar.  


Avery Library, one of Libraries' distinctive collections, contains over 500,000 volumes and 1,900 periodical titles. The Library is composed of three collections: Avery, Fine Arts, and Avery-LC. The Avery collection, one of the world's outstanding collections in the field of architecture, also includes materials on archaeology and the decorative arts. The Fine Arts collection represents the range of literature in art history. The Avery-LC collection consists of recent publications in architecture, art history, archaeology, urban planning, decorative arts, and related fields, and is largely circulating. Additionally, about half of Avery Library's research collection is stored at ReCap, the offsite facility Columbia University Libraries shares with Princeton University, Harvard University, and the New York Public LIbrary (NYPL). Millions of titles from Princeton, Harvard, and NYPL materials are requestable via CLIO and deliverable to Avery Library.

Locating Material

CLIO, Columbia University Libraries online catalog, contains records and circulation information for materials at Avery Library. Using CLIO, one may also request a scan of a small portion of a work via Scan & Deliver.  For help locating items or navigating the library, please visit Avery Maps and Call Number Locations.

The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is an index to articles on architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and urban planning in journals received at Avery Library.

Using Materials

Current Columbia University affiliates may request a scan of a small portion of a work via Scan & Deliver by selecting “Scan” on the item record in CLIO.

The Avery-LC collection circulates, with the exception of multi-volume monographs, oversized items, catalogues raisonnés, and other select restricted titles. The Avery-LC stacks are open and items may be charged out by bringing them to the Service Desk on the 200 level.

The Avery, Fine Arts, and offsite (ReCAP) collections are in-library use only.  In-library use only items may be held on our Temporary Hold Shelves by checking them out at the desk and users may request a personal shelf for holding in-library use only materials.  (Note: shelf assignments are subject to availability.)

Special Collections

  • Classics
    Rare books are designated "Classics" in Avery Library. For more information, please refer to the link above.
  • Drawings and Archives
    The collection contains over 1.5 million items including original architectural drawings and a variety of archival materials. For more information, please refer to the link above.
  • Art Properties
    The Art Properties Department oversees the Columbia University art collection, comprising works of art in all media from all cultures and time periods. They encompass a broad range of art forms; paintings, sculpture, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, and decorative arts, including ceramics and tapestries.