Orders & Services


All services are contingent upon available staff resources. Turnaround times may be longer. We appreciate your patience and flexibility.

Reproduction Services

Paper photocopies, low-resolution digital reproductions (PDFs)high-resolution digital reproductions and original or archival time-based media conversion services for purposes of supporting teaching, research, and other scholarship. The RBML provides reproductions from our collections upon request as long as the staff determines that copying will not harm the original document(s) or violate copyright law.

TERMS OF SERVICE for 2021-2022

RBML is committed to making its collections as broadly accessible as possible. However, as the Columbia campus opens more broadly in Fall 2021, staff members who have been providing scans will be serving onsite researchers. The exact parameters of what level of scanning service we can provide in light of this remains to be determined. This page will be updated once a policy is in place.

Hiring a Researcher

If you would like to hire a Columbia graduate student to assist you, you may contact the following offices where you can post a short-term research position:

Class Instruction & Assignments

Faculty from Columbia University and affiliated institutions are welcome to arrange for remote instruction sessions with Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) curators.

Faculty interested in giving class assignments involving RBML materials are asked to explore our remote resources and to contact RBML to discuss options and strategies: rbml@library.columbia.edu

Reading Room Access: 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 2-20, 2021 to accommodate our relocation 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 23, 2021Request an appointment.

Loans for Exhibitions

Institutions interested in borrowing materials from RBML collections for exhibitions should contact Jennifer Lee at least six months in advance of the opening of the exhibit for domestic exhibitions and one year in advance for exhibitions in countries other than the United States. Preliminary information should include full description of item(s) requested, opening and closing dates of the exhibit, and an indication of how material would be displayed. Exact display information and a formal exhibitions facilities report for the institution will be required before a decision can be made.

Please see the Columbia University Libraries Guidelines for Lending Materials for Exhibition for a detailed description of how to place your loan request.

For further information, please see the Rare Book & Manuscript Section, Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association, ACRL Guidelines for Borrowing and Lending Special Collections Materials for Exhibition (January 2005).