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.


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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.


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Current Exhibition

Enchanted Vision: The Arthur Rackham Collection

"Florenz Ziegfeld & Joseph Urban: Transforming Broadway"

September 17, 2018 - Extended to March 8, 2019

Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Kempner Gallery

This exhibition from RBML's vast Joseph Urban archive, features a selection of original drawings, set models, and plans created by Urban for Florenz Ziegfeld. These included all but one of the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915 through 1931, the Midnight Frolics, and numerous other Broadway shows and plays, including Century Girl, Sally, Rio Rita, Smiles, Show Girl, and Show Boat. Also on display are playbills, photographs, sheet music, and other materials drawn from other RBML collections. Photographs from the Ziegfeld and Urban era are almost entirely black and white, but the drawings and set models show the color, if not the stage magic that Urban created. This exhibition attempts to bring to life some of that magic.