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



Through July 30, 2021, the RBML reading room is open on a very limited basis by appointment only to current Columbia affiliates (students, faculty and staff) whose individual research requires consulting RBML materials.

Our reading room will be closed August 2-13, 2021 to accommodate our move back to our original space in Butler Library as we prepare to expand our services in the fall.

The reading room will reopen to Columbia affiliates on August 16, 2021. Request an appointment.

Alumni and other visitors will be permitted by appointment starting in early October. Specific access instructions for visitors will be posted here as soon as these protocols are finalized.


RBML is not able to welcome non-Columbia researchers to the reading room at this time due to University policy. We invite you to access our Digital Collections, request 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 by advance appointment through July 30. Only users with confirmed appointments will be permitted to enter the reading room.

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. Through July 30, 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.