About RBML


The Rare Book & Manuscript Library is Columbia University’s principal repository for special collections. We collect, preserve, describe, promote, and provide access to the material evidence of diverse individuals and activities in alignment with the University’s research and teaching mission. We build and steward deep collections in select subject areas and connect them to a global audience through reference, teaching, exhibitions, publications, and public programs.



Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Butler Library, 6th Floor East
535 West 114th St. MC1127
New York, NY 10027

(212) 854-5590



Our exhibition galleries are closed for the moment but Online Exhibitions are always available.

The RBML reading room will be open on a very limited basis by appointment only beginning September 8, 2020 to current Columbia affiliates (students, faculty and staff) whose individual research requires consulting RBML materials. Unaffiliated visitors are not permitted in Columbia University buildings at this time. Request an appointment.


Columbia University is not permitting visitors on campus so the RBML is not able to welcome non-Columbia researchers to the reading room at this time. We invite you to access our Digital Collectionsrequest reproductions, or contact us for alternatives to in-person visits.

For current Columbia affiliates (students, faculty, and staff) whose individual research requires consulting RBML materials, the reading room will be available on weekdays beginning September 8, 2020, by advance appointment only.

When arriving for your confirmed appointment, once you have passed the Butler Library security desk, follow the hallway left and take the East elevator to the 6th floor. For the Spring 2021 semester, the RBML reading room is located in 601 Butler, down the hall to the left. Prior to entering the reading room, wash your hands at one of the restrooms near the elevators. Only users with confirmed appointments will be permitted to enter the reading room.