The Avery Classics Collection is the rare book collection of Avery Library and one of the largest architectural rare book collections in the world. Its strengths reflect the Library's original subject scope, established by Avery's founders in 1890: architecture, archaeology, urbanism and the decorative arts.
Notable special collections within Classics are the Trade Catalog Collection, which is one of the largest collections of catalogs of the American building trades anywhere, and the American Viewbook Collection, which includes books, pamphlets, and brochures that document cities, towns, and buildings throughout the United States.
Avery Library’s Drawings & Archives department collects drawings, photographs, and architectural records documenting architecture and design practices. Our 900+ collections focus largely on American and New York City architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Major architects represented include Louis Sullivan, Guastavino Company, Ely Jacques Kahn, Emery Roth, Hugh Ferriss, Philip Johnson, Gordon Bunshaft, Max Bond, Felix Candela, and Harrison & Abramovitz. Our largest collection is the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives. Jointly acquired with The Museum of Modern Art in 2012, it is one of the most comprehensive archives of an American architect.
Avery Library actively develops online presentations of digitized selections from its extensive collections. In recent years, we have produced a number of digital projects showcasing items from our special collections – Avery Classics (rare books) and Avery Drawings and Archives – including rare books, architectural drawings and photography, and ephemeral materials. These projects and others currently in development are produced in collaboration with our colleagues in Columbia University Libraries’ Digital Program Division.