MaRLI (Manhattan Research Library Initiative)

MaRLI: Manhattan Research Library Initiative

The New York Public Library (NYPL) and the libraries of Columbia University and New York University collaborate to provide access to their collections for any doctoral student or faculty member and other eligible researchers of their combined constituencies. 

The collaboration, called the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI), enables eligible users with demonstrable research needs not met by home library resources to visit and to borrow materials from MaRLI institutions.

CUNY doctoral students and doctoral faculty are the New York Public Library's primary academic constituents. Graduate Center affiliates may apply for MaRLI privileges (at Columbia and NYU) by virtue of the GC's long-standing special relationship with NYPL.

MaRLI affiliation renews each academic year. Renew your membership each year in September (or later) by submitting a new application.

Option 1: Register with NYPL for GC Extended Loan Privileges

All Graduate Center affiliates automatically are eligible for extended borrowing privileges through the New York Public Library (NYPL). But you must register with NYPL to activate these privileges. 

Once registered, GC affiliated researchers are entitled to increased borrowing privileges at NYPL (and they may also separately apply for access to Columbia and NYU through the MaRLI program, see option 2)

Loan periods of NYPL materials for GC students are 120 days, subject to recall. Renewals may be requested on-site. Read more.

To activate these extended loans:

If you need an NYPL library card, you can apply online or in person at any NYPL location.

Option 2: Apply for Columbia & NYU MaRLI Access

With a NYPL library card, GC affiliates may apply for Columbia and NYU borrowing privileges through MaRLI:

  1. Apply online for MaRLI 
    1. Non-PhD CUNY grad students should apply as "independent scholars" and note their GC program on the application.
    2. Please take care with the final question on the MaRLI application: Describe how MaRLI privileges will support your research; we recommend treating this as an essay question and supply details about what collections you need ongoing access to that are not also available at CUNY or NYPL.
  2. Email notification will shortly be sent to you with instructions for completing registration.
  3. Each library will issue their own MaRLI access card to you to use throughout the year. Bring your approval email, NYPL library card, and another accepted form of ID to pick up your cards at the locations below. Be sure to plan your trip when these offices are open; office hours may vary from general library hours.

Limited (One Day) Access via METRO Referral Cards

If you only occasionally need an item held by the libraries at Columbia University or NYU, you may request a METRO referral card in person from a librarian at the Reference Desk on the second floor of the library (or request the item through Interlibrary Loan).

NYC reference librarians may issue METRO Referral cards for one-time, on-site use of a specific, named item from any metropolitan area library catalog.