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

Social Climates exhibit poster

Science, Nature & Beauty: Harmony and Cosmological Perspectives in Islamic Science: through March 3, 2023 in Kempner Gallery. This exhibit helps to bring into clear relief the complex and dynamic ways in which sciences permeated almost all aspects of life within the Muslim world, not only during the so-called “golden age” or “classical” centuries of Islamic history but until at least the middle of the 18th century. The exhibit also contributes to an understanding of Islamic science as a robust, diverse and lively scholarly endeavor, and as a central and non-reducible component of larger and non-linear histories, cultures and traditions of the arts and sciences. A digital brochure of the exhibit is also available.

In the School of Wisdom Exhibit poster

Fanzines: Passion Made Personal: through June 30 in the Chang Octagon.