The Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections is located in the Carl A. Kroch Library, a state-of-the-art, three-story underground building, which opened in August of 1992. Named for Carl A. Kroch ’35, the pioneering bookseller who provided the principal gift for its construction, the building was designed especially for the storage of rare and fragile materials. Within its 97,000 square feet, the Kroch Library has room for approximately 1.3 million volumes and 20,000 cubic feet of manuscript material. All three levels provide space for researchers, staff, and collections. Comfortable study areas are clustered around a large, open atrium to take advantage of the natural light provided by four skylights. To ensure proper preservation and security, rare books and manuscripts are kept in a climate-controlled vault on the lower level of the building.
To facilitate access and instruction, the Rare and Manuscript Division offers a variety of facilities. A reference room and two classrooms accommodate an array of research and instruction needs. Researchers may examine collections in the Elizabeth Reed Rare Book and Manuscript Reading Room. Additionally, the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections mounts three to four exhibitions each year in the Samuel L. Hirshland ’51 Exhibition Gallery. Visitors are encouraged to peruse our exhibitions in person or online.
The Carl A. Kroch Library is located on the central Cornell campus; access is through Olin Library. Visitors and researchers are welcome in the Rare and Manuscript Division during regular Kroch-Rare & Manuscript Collections library hours (listed to the left). The receptionist on the 2B level will be happy to direct you to the reference room, exhibition gallery, or classrooms.