Rare Book & Manuscript Library


Reading Room Access: The RBML reading rooms are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm by advance appointment.

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.

Digital Resources: Many resources are available online. You can access them by following the links listed below. In addition, we will continue to post news stories about collections and initiatives.

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 teaching and to support students with research projects and assignments. Please visit our Teaching with RBML page for more details.

Exhibitions: Our exhibition galleries do not require appointments and are open to all visitors during our regular hours. Online Exhibitions are always available.

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.

Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative

This cooperative pulls on archival records from repositories across New York State. Here you can search the collections available at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This tool is particularly helpful since it searches not just the front matter of the online finding aids but also the collection inventories or folder lists.

Quick Links