Rare Book and Manuscript Collections

The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections includes more than 500,000 printed volumes, more than 80 million manuscripts, and another million photographs, paintings, prints, and other visual media. Below you will find descriptive information about some of the highlights of Cornell's rare book and manuscript collections. Catalog records for rare books and manuscripts on many other subjects - including many subjects not covered below - can by found by searching the Cornell University Library catalog. Guides for some of our our archival and manuscript collections are also available online.

Primary Collection Strengths

American History & Culture

American Indian History & Culture

Architecture & Planning

Cornell University History

East Asian History & Culture

European History & Culture

Food, Wine & Culinary History

Icelandic History & Culture

Literature & Theater


Natural History

Photographs & Visual Materials

Science & Technology

Sexuality & Gender

Southeast Asian History & Culture

Travel & Tourism

Other Special Collections at Cornell

Cornell University Library offers rich special collections resources in several library units on the central Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York, as well as the Medical Center Archives at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City. For for information, please see Cornell University Library’s Rare Books, Manuscripts and Archives.