Avery Drawings & Archives


The Drawings & Archives department at Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library holds over 400 archives documenting the practice of architecture and design across a range of creators, including architects, firms, interior designers, preservationists, photographers, critics, historians, and educators largely from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a strong focus on New York and American architecture.

Avery Drawings & Archives is among the most extensive research archives in the field, serving as an important educational resource for Columbia University, Barnard College, and the international architecture and design community. The department holds a diverse range of original drawings, reprographic plans, photographic materials, building and project files, business papers, manuscripts material, correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, as well as faculty and personal papers. The geographic area represented by the collections is both local and global. Because of the rich history of immigration in the United States, as well as the international profiles of many New York-based architecture firms represented in our holdings, the collections illustrate architecture and design practice around the world. The department’s largest collection is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, which was jointly acquired with The Museum of Modern Art in 2012 and is among the most comprehensive archives of an American architect.

Major architects and firms whose drawings and records are represented in our archival collections include Louis Sullivan, the Guastavino Company, Emery Roth, Hugh FerrissKahn & Jacobs, Philip Johnson, Gordon Bunshaft, J. Max Bond Jr., Felix Candela, Wallace Harrison, and Max Abramovitz.



Research in our collections is by appointment only and conducted in the Drawings & Archives Reading Room. Appointment hours are Tuesday through Friday, 1pm to 4pm.

It is recommended to reach out about 1 month in advance of your preferred date.

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



Our collections include architectural drawings, photographic materials, project and building files, business records, correspondence, and faculty and personal papers. Browse our list of collections, generally arranged by architect or firm name, or search for our collections in Columbia University's library catalog, CLIO, to access archival finding aids and detailed collection catalog records.



Avery Drawings & Archives is unable to accommodate new requests for class visits or course-integrated research sessions as this time. Please note: Art Humanities sessions in the department will not be offered in the spring or summer semesters. We expect to restore normal class offerings by Fall 2024. Thank you for your patience and apologies for any inconvenience.



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.

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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-drawings@columbia.edu.