Exhibition Loans & Digital Imaging

The primary mission of Avery's special collections is to provide scholarly research support, object-based instruction and general access to students, faculty, and interested outside parties. In keeping with these goals, Art Properties (Columbia’s art collection); Avery Classics (rare books); and Drawings & Archives also have robust publication and exhibition loan programs supported by the services described below.


The Avery Library has an active exhibition loan program, and we are pleased to regularly work with domestic and international institutions to facilitate loans ranging in size from individual objects up to several hundred at a time. The minimum lead time for the majority of our loans is one year, and may be longer for international venues or loans of more than 10 objects. Borrowers must provide museum-standard facility reports and proof of insurance, and are responsible for all costs related to the loan, including (but not limited to): loan fees; object conservation; imaging; matting, framing, object mounts; packing, crating, transportation; and courier expenses.

For inquiries about borrowing specific collection materials, please write to the relevant holding department:

For questions regarding the loan process, please write to averyregistrar@columbia.edu.

For general information on borrowing collection materials from Columbia University Libraries, please review Guidelines for Borrowing Materials for Exhibition.


Avery's Digital Imaging Studio creates high-resolution image files representing our special collections materials.

Avery policy is to provide the digital files representing our collection materials in exhibition and publication. High resolution files are created by our Digital Imaging Studio. The minimum turnaround time from receipt of payment to file delivery is 8 weeks. Pricing begins at $50 per item, and final costs depend on the size of the original as well as the intended output.

Depending on the intended use, there may be additional fees or conditions, and we do not hold the rights for the vast majority of the objects we steward. Write to the relevant department to begin an order:

For detailed information about placing digital imaging requests, pricing, and turnaround times, visit our Digital Imaging Services page.

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Researchers, publishers, editors and curators regularly request the use of special collections materials in publication and exhibition. For all representations of Avery materials there are important considerations regarding copyrights and credit lines. As a general rule rights are not transferred to Avery when a collection is acquired and only rarely do we have contact information for rights holders. It is the patron’s responsibility to clear all rights for works under copyright protection. Credit lines vary by department and collection and must be confirmed by Avery staff.

Please direct any questions regarding rights for Avery materials to: averyregistrar@library.columbia.edu.

For additional information about copyright law as it relates to education, research, and scholarship, go to Copyright Advisory Services.