Chinese rare books and special materials are mostly stored at the Kress Rare Books & Special Collections Reading Room. To use these materials, users must visit the reading room during the hours it is open and follow the policy and regulations as specified.
Non-Columbia users are welcome to use rare books and special collections at Columbia. Non-Columbia users are required to register in the Information Office of Butler Library and an access card has to be obtained there.
And the access card should be presented to library staff for entering the library and using the materials. The librarian should be contacted first with the name identical to an government ID and use purpose in order to arrange an access card in advance in the Information Office. An government ID should be presented for picking up the access card.
For more detailed procedural information, see the Guidelines for Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room Use.
In recent years, select rare books and special collections at Columbia such as Xin bian dui xiang si yan 《新編對相四言》, Ling Long Women’s Magazine 《玲瓏》, Guba hua gong diao cha lu 《古巴華工調查錄》, Chinese Paper Gods 門神紙馬 and Oracle bones 甲骨文 have been digitized and made available online for public use.
Many of the digitized rare and special titles are also made accessible through Internet Archive. Actually a relatively comprehensive list of most digitized Chinese rare and special titles from Columbia are accessible through the not-perfectly-organized but pretty useful Internet Archive volume list of Columbia Chinese rare and special.
Besides personal research use, the information for research, commercial use, and borrowing for exhibition can be found through the links listed in the website of Preservation & Digital Conversion Division.
In particular, the following guidelines and information are useful: