Cornell University
Updated Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Hybrid library for a hybrid summer: COVID-19 updates »
Home About Us Collections
Collections
Cornell University Library's collections encompass a rich and varied universe of printed volumes, digital resources, maps, media and archival materials. The Library holds over 8 million volumes and over a million ebooks. With close to 5 million journal article downloads per year and 91 percent of the 120,000 current serial titles available online, the Library's digital collection continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Subject Strengths
The Library has long been known for its nationally prominent collections in Southeast Asia studies, industrial relations, viticulture and Old Norse and Icelandic materials, as well as for solid research-level collections in agriculture, astronomy, chemistry, classics, French history and literature, human development, mathematics, medieval studies, microbiology, North European language and literature, physics and western European social sciences. The Library’s material and digital collections are administered by a large staff of expert subject librarians.
CUL Collection Development Principles
Timely access to research and learning content for the Cornell community is the Library’s first priority in the scholarly resources arena. It is a prerequisite for continuing to develop Cornell’s academic distinction, educational verve and community engagement. Since Collection Development continues to be an important tool for the Library to achieve this priority, the following principles have been drafted to inform collection development policy and practice:
Digital Collections
A leader in digital library research and development since the early 1990’s, CUL is building collections with local and global partners as well as licensing access to a rapidly expanding collection of electronic resources in all fields of scholarship. We have extensive holdings of electronic journals, books, primary texts of various kinds, digital images of fine artworks from around the globe, statistical data files and hundreds of indexes, abstracts and search tools.
Rare Book & Manuscript Collections
Cornell University’s rare book and manuscript collections date from the founding of the University in 1865. Andrew Dickson White, Cornell's co-founder and first president, was a life-long book collector who believed that deep collections of primary resources are central to scholarship and teaching. These founding ideas continue to guide Cornell's collection building policies to this day. Collections of rare materials are primarily found in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in Carl A. Kroch Library, but several other campus libraries — including Catherwood, Law, and Mann — maintain rare materials, as well.
Exhibitions
Library exhibitions, both online and in person, help nourish and inspire intellectual curiosity and creativity at Cornell. Learn more about our Online Exhibitions and visit the individual libraries' websites to find physical exhibitions.
Funding
To meet the research and teaching needs of the Cornell community across the disciplines, the Library’s collections budget pays for access to a vast range of resources – text, images, data, and more in various electronic and physical formats. The collections budget, which totals around $18 million annually, is comprised of an appropriation from the University, restricted and unrestricted endowment funds, and gifts to the Library. Read our Funding FAQ.
Giving
Unrestricted gifts, no matter what the amount, help support every facet of Cornell University Library operations — from enriching our holdings and expanding our resources, to preserving our collections, to improving our services with advanced technology. Find out more about Giving Opportunities.
About Us
Inside the Library
News
Events
Collections
Subject Librarians
Special Collections
Visual Resources
Digital Collections
Online Exhibitions
Licensing Electronic Resources
Cornell Open Access Publication Fund
Collection Funding FAQ
Visitor Information
Staff
Partnerships and Initiatives
Public Policies
News
Library launches future with FOLIO
More news »
Library Insider
Staff Profile: Reanna Karim Esmail
More Library Insider »
Spotlight
Build your skills through free library workshops
Menu
Feedback
GIVE TO THE LIBRARY
©2021 Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY 14853 | (607) 255-4144 | Privacy | Web Accessibility Assistance
 
Chat with Us
About UsInside the LibraryNewsEventsCollectionsVisitor InformationStaffPartnerships and InitiativesPublic PoliciesLibrariesTextbooksTools for InstructorsContact Reserves StaffStudent Textbook Request FormResearchCitation ManagementCurrent AwarenessIntroduction to ResearchResearch GuidesMeet with a LibrarianServicesBorrow, Renew, Return PoliciesBorrow Direct, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Material RequestsCopyright and DigitizationDisability ServicesEvidence Synthesis ServiceInstruction and WorkshopsLibrary LiaisonsLibrary SpacesOverDrivePasskey and Library AppsPrivacy ServicesResearch Data Management ServicesScholarly Publishing, Repositories, and Open AccessSpecialized SoftwareStreaming VideoVisiting Partner LibrariesAsk a LibrarianChatEmailMeet with a LibrarianReference Desk DirectoryMy AccountRemote Teaching & Course SupportResources & Support for Learning RemotelyRemote Support for ResearchAbout UsInside the LibraryNewsEventsCollectionsVisitor InformationStaffPartnerships and InitiativesPublic PoliciesLibrariesTextbooksTools for InstructorsContact Reserves StaffStudent Textbook Request FormResearchCitation ManagementCurrent AwarenessIntroduction to ResearchResearch GuidesMeet with a LibrarianServicesBorrow, Renew, Return PoliciesBorrow Direct, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and Material RequestsCopyright and DigitizationDisability ServicesEvidence Synthesis ServiceInstruction and WorkshopsLibrary LiaisonsLibrary SpacesOverDrivePasskey and Library AppsPrivacy ServicesResearch Data Management ServicesScholarly Publishing, Repositories, and Open AccessSpecialized SoftwareStreaming VideoVisiting Partner LibrariesAsk a LibrarianChatEmailMeet with a LibrarianReference Desk DirectoryMy AccountRemote Teaching & Course SupportResources & Support for Learning RemotelyRemote Support for Research