Access to Research Collections

Public libraries

  • In NYC, there's NYPL, BPL, QL.
  • Walk-in access for all.
  • Computer access policies may vary.
  • Online resources: usually unrestricted on site, will need library card to access remotely.
  • Available to people living, working, or attending school in an area
  • Possible to hold membership in several library systems at once.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL) for materials not held within the system.

College and University Libraries

  • Privileges for alumni, visiting scholars, and visitors vary from campus to campus. Check websites for information.
  • Friends of library membership are available at some institutions (academic and otherwise), for example Columbia.
  • Institutions may have different policies for special/research collections, such as NYU's Tamiment Library (bear in mind that people do tend to get watched more in law libraries)

MaRLI (Manhattan Research Library Initiative)

"Any New York Public Library cardholder in good standing who lives, works or attends school in New York State is eligible to participate in a new library service that offers an unprecedented level of access to our collections. The Manhattan Research Libraries Initiative (MaRLI) offers approved NYPL cardholders the ability to borrow select research library material for at-home use for the first time ever. Additionally, MaRLI participants will be granted access to select materials owned by Columbia University and NYU." (from the MaRLI website)

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

  • FDLP libraries must grant access to any researcher who wishes to access collections.
  • Regional depository libraries keep copies of any documents received and must make them available to selective depository libraries.
  • Selective depository libraries choose what to keep on hand.

Depending on what you want to do, you may wish to contact the library to ask what resources are available to gov doc researchers. Access to computers, online resources, and the regular collections may vary depending on that library's policy.

Open Access Research Collections

More OA Collections

Research Help/Allies

Research Ethics and Intellectual Property