Rare Book & Manuscript Library


In order to use the collections, all visitors to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library are required to create a Special Collections Research Account. Registering as a special collections user also allows you to request materials online before your visit.


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

Fall 2019 Programming Brochure

The latest public programming guide is now available, which has the details on our newest exbhitions, lectures and more. You can view it here.

Current Exhibitions

Enchanted Vision: The Arthur Rackham Collection

Mirror of Humanity:  Seeing Ourselves in Playing Cards

August 26, 2019 - January 31, 2020
Kempner Gallery

Playing cards were once condemned as “the Devil’s picture book,” gaudy bits of pasteboard that encouraged sins such as time-wasting and gambling. Mirror of Humanity: Seeing Ourselves in Playing Cards instead approaches playing cards as mirrors which retain images of past perceptions of ourselves and others. Please join us on November 11 for a gallery tour of this exhibition, followed by a reception at Hex & Co., where we will announce the winner of a playing card design competition. RSVP here


Roar, Lion, Roar: A Celebration of Columbia Football
August 26, 2019 - December 20, 2019
Chang Octagon

Focusing on players, coaches, playing fields, and the games won and lost, this exhibition traces the arc of Columbia’s football program from its inception in 1870 to the present day. As one of the oldest college programs in the country, Columbia Football has a rich and fascinating history which the University Archives is delighted to share and celebrate through this display of historical materials from our collection.