Our Collections


Main Collection

The approximately 200,000 volume circulating book collection is intended to serve the Barnard College curriculum. With strength in women's studies, dance, art, and literature, the collections are built and actively managed in collaboration with the Barnard faculty. For more information, please see our Collection Development Policy. Books are arranged according to the Library of Congress classification system and are located on the second and third floors of the library. The collection is fully integrated into the Columbia University Library system and searchable through CLIO, the shared online catalog.

A small browsing collection of print academic journals and magazines are shelved alphabetically by title in the periodicals section on the second floor. The majority of the library's academic journals are available online. Specific journal titles can be searched through CLIO.  

Media Collection

The media collection is housed on the first floor of the Library and includes over 3,000 DVDs and videos and more than 8,000 music and spoken recordings. 

Barnard Archives

The Archives are located on the lower level of Lehman Hall in room and serve as the permanent repository for the records of the College from its founding in 1889 to the present day. The primary collections include records of the Board of Trustees; administrative offices and departments; architectural drawings; audio and visual materials; biographical files; publications and an assortment of ephemera, framed artwork and artifacts--ranging from caps and gowns to plaques and ceremonial trowels. The Archives also include a collection of official and student publications, photographs, letters and other material that documents Barnard’s history from its founding in 1889 to the present day. The Archives welcomes students and other researchers by individual appointment.

Barnard Zines

The Barnard Zine collection consists primarily of zines written by women with an emphasis on zines by women of color, as well as zines on feminism and femme identity by people of all genders. Zines offer both contemporary and future researchers a unique insight into today's feminist culture. The circulating collection of zines is located on the second floor, while an archival collection is held in the Barnard Archives.Both collections are cataloged and searchable through CLIO.

Barnard Alumnae Author Collection

This growing collection of works is testiment to Barnard's history of producing some of the most distinguished contemporary writers and scholars. Barnard’s alumnae include Mary Gordon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Anna Quindlen, Edwidge Danticat, Ann Brashares, Erica Jong, Rosellen Brown, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Tama Janowitz and Ntozake Shange, as well as older alumnae, like Zora Neale Hurston and Margaret Mead, who have entered the literary and scholarly canon. Many works have been graciously donated while others are actively collected. The collection is located on the first floor of the library.

Other Rare Book and Special Collections

A handful of rare book and manuscripts collections are also held by the library. The rare book collection is housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Butler Library. The Overbury Collection which consists 3,300 special and first edition books as well as manuscript materials by and about American women authors is housed in the Barnard Archives.

We also have two circulating specialty collections interfiled in the stacks: Lesbian Fiction and LGBTQ YA (young adult) Fiction. Both collections are cataloged and searchable through CLIO.