Access Services

Use of the Library

For the Summer 2021 semester, Avery Library is open to current Columbia University students, faculty, and staff. Pick-up Service and Scan & Deliver are available to all eligible Columbia University affiliates.

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. Additionally, about half of Avery Library's research collection is stored at ReCap, the offsite facility Columbia University Libraries shares with Princeton University and the New York Public LIbrary (NYPL). Millions of titles from Princeton 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 request a scan of a portion of a work via Scan & Deliver, request eligible items via the Pick-up Service, or request applicable materials for On-Site Use. Many titles in Avery's collections are available via HathiTrust's Emergency Temporary Access Service. For more information, see here.

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, and catalogues raisonnés. Avery-LC titles may be requested for the Pick-up Service by eligible patrons by selecting “Pick-up” on the item record in CLIO. Please allow 1-2 business days for fulfillment.

The Avery, Fine Arts, and offsite (ReCAP) collections are in-library use only, but patrons with a valid reservation may request them by selecting “On-Site Use” in CLIO. (Please limit On-Site Use requests to five items per visit.) They will be paged and delivered to users during their scheduled reservation. Please note, "On-Site Use" orders for Avery and Avery Fine Arts materials will be fulfilled in 1-2 business days; "On-Site Use" orders for offsite (ReCap) materials will take 3-5 business days for fulfillment. Should a user wish to use an item or items again in a subsequent visit, Avery Library will hold up to ten items per patron and will page them for users with each appointment.

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.