Research and Appointments

Research and Appointments

Avery Drawings & Archives' welcomes the use of its collections for research and reference by all members of the University community and the public.

Please note that an appointment is required to consult our collections in our reading room.

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, research appointments are restricted to Columbia University affiliates (currently limited to faculty and students) and require advance notice. There may be restrictions on the types of materials we can service. Please contact Avery Drawings & Archives for more information.

Beginning research

Conrad model of Seagram Builing, ca. 1957 Model of Seagram Building, ca. 1957, Box 8: Folder 06, Theodore Conrad papers.

Our collections are generally arranged by architect or firm name. Use our finding aids and catalog records to identify material for your research, accessible via the following search tools:


Make an Appointment

Our appointment hours are Tuesday to Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For holidays and special closures, please see our calendar.

To ensure availability, we ask for two weeks notice for appointment requests. Appointments are confirmed once the selection of materials has been approved.

To schedule an appointment, send an email to with the following information:

  • Your contact information
  • Name of the collection you wish to consult
  • Box/drawing/item location numbers
    • If you are unsure what materials to consult, provide the name of the project or topic you are researching and staff will direct you to appropriate resources.
  • Preferred date for your appointment.
  • Advise if you do not have a Columbia University ID and require a visitor's pass.

Appointment Policies

Appointments are for one researcher at a time only. Requests for additional researchers must be approved by the Public Services Archivist ahead of your visit.

Due to space considerations and safety of the materials, we typically limit requests to no more than:

  • 4 folders of drawings; or
  • 4 boxes per day, or 2 boxes of off-site material; or
  • 4 rolls or tube boxes.

For a combination of these materials, the requested amount will be assessed by the Public Services Archivist based on your research needs and feasibility.

Avery Drawings & Archives reading room

What You Can Bring

You may bring into the reading room a laptop, tablet, smartphone and/or a digital camera (no flash or tripods permitted). Patrons are encouraged to take their own study images for research purposes. Notepads and pencils are provided to take notes during your visit.

Outerwear, backpacks, bags, laptop and camera cases, umbrellas, food and drink and other personal items including books, notebooks and research materials must be stored in the lockers provided while you are using the collections. Food and drink—including water bottles—are strictly prohibited.

Staff reserves the right to inspect belongings at any time.

Reading Room Rules

Please review our reading room rules.

How to Find Us

Drawings & Archives is located in Avery Library in Avery Hall on Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus. Please consult the campus map and walking instructions to Avery Library.

You must show a Columbia University ID card or a visitor’s pass to enter Avery Library.

To find us in the library, take the main stairs or elevator behind the front desk attendant. At the bottom level, turn left at the Service Desk and continue until you enter the Fine Arts stacks. Follow the purple floor through the stacks to the Wallach Study Center. Drawings & Archives is past the double doors and display cases.

Digital Copies

Study Images

Researchers are welcome to photograph collection items during research visits for study and research purposes. No flash or tripods are permitted.

Due to limited staff resources, we are unable to provide scanning services for remote study. We can provide contact information for a researcher-for-hire.

Imaging Requests

Avery Library’s imaging team provides high-resolution digital imaging of drawings, photographs, and other documents from our collections for purposes of supporting teaching, research, and scholarship based on feasibility of the request and safety of materials.

Before starting a digital imaging order, researchers must physically identify the item within our collections. To proceed with an order, we require a description of the item, its physical location within the collection (box/folder/drawing number), and a reference image.

It is the responsibility of the user to secure permission from the appropriate copyright holder. In most cases, Avery Library owns only the physical object and does not assume responsibility for intellectual property, copyright, or other legal issues involved in the publication and reproduction of items from its collections. Click here for information on rights and reproductions.  

Citing our Collections

In citing our collections, please use the following credit lines:

General citation:

[Description of item], [Box and Folder], [Collection name], Drawings and Archives, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives citation:

[Description of item], [Item number], Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University).