Avery Classics Collection

Avery Classics Collection

The Avery Classics Collection is the rare book collection of Avery Library and one of the largest architectural rare book collections in the world. Its strengths reflect the Library's original subject scope, established by Avery's founders in 1890: architecture, archaeology, urbanism and the decorative arts.

Turgot Plan of Paris


Research in our collections is by appointment only and conducted in the Avery Classics Reading Room (Avery 234). Appointment hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1pm to 4pm.

Click here to find out more about how to request materials and book an appointment.



Avery Classics contains approximately 35,000 printed volumes published over seven centuries, from Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria (1485) to the recent limited edition volume, Olafur Eliasson’s Your House (2006). The Classics collection also has important holdings of graphic suites, periodicals, manuscripts, broadsides, photographs, and printed ephemera.

Search for our collections in Columbia University's library catalog, CLIO, to access archival finding aids and detailed collection catalog records. Digitized versions of some of our materials are avialable through the Digital Library Collections portal. For more information on our holdings, click here.

05_Stroitel’naia promyshlennost’ 1932.04_website


We welcome requests from faculty for classes and tours. Past classes have focused on topics ranging from Renaissance architectural treatises to New York City land maps to Modernism in Print. We are happy to help you to develop sessions relevant to your syllabus. Please email the Interim Curator of Avery Classics, Lena Newman, with your request: lan2115@columbia.edu.




Avery's Digital Imaging Studio creates high-resolution image files representing our special collections materials. Click here for information on how to place an imaging order.



For general information on borrowing collection materials from Columbia University Libraries, please review Guidelines for Borrowing Materials for Exhibition. For Avery-specific deadlines and information, write to the department at avery-classics@library.columbia.edu.



Last updated Jan. 20, 2016