As Columbia celebrates 250 years of outstanding accomplishment and ascendancy as one of the world’s leading research universities, it is very appropriate to recognize the extraordinary primary resources in the special collections across its many libraries. Columbia librarians and faculty have assembled over the past century distinguished resources of remarkable breadth, depth, diversity and quality. The catalog highlights appropriately 250 of these treasures.
The magnificent works are drawn from the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, the C. V. Starr East Asian Library, the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, the Barnard College Library, the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Butler Library, the Oral History Research Office, the Gabe M. Wiener Music & Arts Library, the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library, the Office of Art Properties, and the University Archives and Columbiana Library, and they therefore reflect the comprehensive scholarly interests of Columbia.
These treasures are unique and very special, but they are not museum pieces. They are works intended to serve learning and research. They are not marginal, but rather vital components of Columbia ’s commitment to excellence and leadership in scholarship. We invite you to peruse this catalog, to visit our libraries, and to take advantage of the over 30 million books, manuscripts, photographs, and other objects which are the Columbia special collections.
University Librarian and Vice President for Information Services