Rare Book & Manuscript Library


Digital Resources: Many resources are available online. You can access them by following the links listed below. You can also learn more about how RBML is documenting COVID-19 at Columbia. In addition, we will continue to post news stories about collections and initiatives.

Reading Room Access: The RBML reading room is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm by advance appointment only to external visitors and Columbia affiliates.


PLAN AHEAD: Reading room appointments must be booked at least 7 days in advance and up to 90 days in advance. Bookings are are first-come, first served and we cannot guarantee the availability of preferred dates/times. For more information on booking an appointment, visit our Appointment FAQ page


See the Plan Your Visit Page for instructions on planning your visit. We invite all users to access our Digital Collections, request reproductions, or contact us for alternatives to in-person visits.


Order Reproductions: Limited reproductions of materials may be requested. See our Orders & Services page for details.


Research & Teaching Support: RBML staff are available to assist faculty with online teaching and to support students with research projects and assignments. Contact us for assistance.


Exhibitions: Our exhibition galleries are open to Columbia affiliates and external visitors with confirmed reading room appointments. Online Exhibitions are always available to all.

RBML Search Tools


The Columbia University Libraries online catalogue is a primary tool for locating RBML materials.

Archival Collections Portal

This portal provides access to records of archival collections at Columbia University Libraries, including finding aids, collection descriptions and available digital content, such as online exhibits and images.

Oral History Portal

Use this portal to explore the collections of the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH) Archives at RBML.

Quick Links

Current Exhibits

Original Copies poster

Original Copies: Facsimiles and their Mediations of Authenticity and Ownership: through July 28, 2023 in the Kempner Gallery. As exacting copies that reproduce both the contents and the physical presentation of their originals, facsimiles can tell us a great deal about the histories of technology and of taste. This exhibition assembles materials from across Columbia’s distinctive collections – from a Zhao Mausoleum relief rubbing, to Shakespeare’s First Folio, to a contemporary recreation of Captain America #2 -- and includes replicas, restorations, creative forgeries, even a ‘facsimile’ of a book made by aliens. Taken together, this wide range of books and other objects invites us to explore the technologies that make facsimiles possible, the motivations and appetites that drive their production, and the questions they raise about originality and authenticity.

Fanzines: Passion Made Personal poster

Fanzines: Passion Made Personal: through June 30 in the Chang Octagon. Comics fanzines operated on several levels: they presented news, reviews, interviews; they celebrated the medium, its creators, its characters, and its publishers; most of all, they created community. This exhibition, drawing on the Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s extensive fanzine collection, explores the what, the why, the who, and the how. Items from the papers of Bill Schelly, John Fantucchio, Paul Levitz, and Hames Ware demonstrate how a relatively small group of people helped create and develop comics fandom.