Digital Imaging Services

Avery’s renowned collections are used by students and scholars around the world. We offer several options for you to create or receive digital files representing our materials for research, teaching, publication, and exhibition.



Reference images for personal use

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Use your phone or camera --no flash or tripod-- to shoot reference images in Avery’s study spaces and special collections reading rooms. Please note that reference images are for your personal use only.

To scan images or text from books and journals in the library's art and architecture collections, there is a scanning room on the 200-level (220B) open to all library patrons. This room contains 6 flatbed scanners and 1 overhead scanner with options to save to flash drive or send files via email. The 100-level has 2 additional flatbeds and another overhead scanner.

A rare books scanner in the Avery Classics reading room (Avery 234) is available for Classics materials. Use of the scanner requires a USB flash drive and the assistance of an Avery staff member.

A microform scanner is available in the Avery Drawings & Archives reading room.


Avery Digital Imaging Studio

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Avery policy is to always provide the image files representing our materials in publication and exhibition. Requests for high resolution digital files begin with the department where the objects are held. Please use the email aliases below and note that we are only able to photograph the materials in our collections.

Art Properties: artproperties@library.columbia.edu

Avery Library Books & Journals: avery@library.columbia.edu

Avery Classics (rare books): avery-classics@library.columbia.edu

Avery Drawings & Archives : avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu

The Avery Digital Imaging Studio uses a Phase One technical camera to shoot RAW files which are subsequently processed to create TIFF files for delivery. For print publications our standard specification is 300 ppi, 8-bit color, with a maximum output size of 9 x 12 inches; higher resolution is available upon request.

TIFF files for printing full-size surrogates of Avery objects for exhibition are available on a case-by-case basis.


Order Process and Fees

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Identification of specific items for imaging orders is confirmed in the relevant Avery department (e.g. Avery Classics, Avery Drawings & Archives, Art Properties). Once the item list is confimed, the order is then executed/delivered by the Special Collections Services department. As a general rule, new photography has a turnaround time of 4-6 weeks but can be longer for large projects (more than 15 objects).

Pricing begins at $50 per digital file. Final costs vary depending on the size of the original object and the intended output. Avery Library accepts payment by credit card (Mastercard/Visa) or check payable to Columbia University.

Completed orders are delivered via download link.

For all questions related to imaging Avery materials, please write to averyimaging@library.columbia.edu