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Columbia University Libraries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Columbia University Libraries
Butler Library Columbia University.jpg
CountryUnited States
TypeAcademic Library system
LocationColumbia University, New York City, NY
Size11.9 million
Access and use
Population servedOver 4 million
Other information
DirectorAnn D. Thornton
StaffApproximately 1000

Columbia University Libraries is the library system of Columbia University and is one of the top five academic library systems in North America and top ten largest libraries by volumes held.[1] With 11.9 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials, it is the fifth largest academic library in the United States and the largest academic library in the State of New York. The services and collections are organized into 21 libraries and various academic technology centers, including affiliates.[2] The organization employs more than 500 professional and support staff and is located on the university's Morningside Heights campus in New York City. Additionally, Columbia is part of the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (ReCAP) along with Harvard Library, Princeton University Library and New York Public Library.[3]


The Columbia library system contains over 65,000 serial subscriptions, nearly six million microfilms, 26 million manuscripts, over 600,000 rare books, over 100,000 videos and DVDs, and nearly 200,000 government documents. The library's collection would stretch 174 miles end-to-end, and is growing at a pace of 140,000 items per annum. The system attracts over four million visitors a year.[4]

The system is participating in the Google Books Library Project.[5]

The Libraries

Butler Library
Butler Library

The libraries in the Columbia system include:

Offsite Shelving Facility

Additionally, Columbia shares an off-site shelving facility, located in Plainsboro, New Jersey, with the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium (RECAP), which includes the New York Public Library and the library system of Harvard University and Princeton University.[7][8]

Low Library

Low Memorial Library, a prominent building on Columbia's campus emblazoned with the inscription "The Library of Columbia University", is no longer a main library, serving instead as the university's administrative center. It was the university's central library from the 1890s to the 1930s, when due to shortage of space it was supplanted by Butler Library. The Columbia University Archives collection, formerly housed in Low Library, is now located within the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on the 6th floor of Butler Library.

Library Awards

Columbia University Libraries administers several annual prizes and awards, including the prestigious Bancroft Prize given out for distinguished work in the field of history. The library system also administers the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, which honors Edward Kennedy's love of theater and interest in American history. [9]

External links


  1. ^ "The Nation's Largest Libraries: A Listing By Volumes Held".
  2. ^ "About Columbia University Libraries". Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Fast Facts about Columbia University Libraries".
  5. ^ "Library Partners".
  6. ^ The Gottesman Libraries: One of the nation's largest and most comprehensive research libraries in education.
  7. ^ "Debate at N.Y. Public Library: Can Off-Site Storage Work for Researchers?" Jennifer Howard. April 22, 2012. Chronicle of Higher Education.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Libraries Awards".
This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 15:32
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