Research Guides


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Access to Libraries Temporarily Restricted

MarLI access is available to Columbia's Butler Library and NYU Libraries at this time (as of September 2022).

MaRLI: Manhattan Research Library Initiative

A view of the temporary Lending Library Central Library New Bridge Street Newcastle upon Tyne taken in 1949.  Public Domain.The Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI) is a borrowing program governed by the New York Public Library, New York University Libraries, and Columbia University Libraries.

NYPL ended its online MaRLI application in October of 2019. A consultation with an NYPL research librarian is required. 

Image: A view of the temporary Lending Library Central Library New Bridge Street Newcastle upon Tyne taken in 1949. Public Domain.


Any New York Public Library cardholder in good standing at participating libraries may apply via MaRLI for access to NYU and Columbia University libraries. NYPL applicants must demonstrate that the materials they seek are not held by the New York Public Library, and they are held by Columbia or NYU libraries.  

GC doctoral students at the prospectus/dissertation writing stage and CUNY teaching faculty are viable candidates for MaRLI membership. Master's students and early term doctoral students may apply for MaRLI privileges as independent scholars (instead of as GC affiliates). 

Qualify for MaRLI Privileges

  1. Consider your need. Explore the strengths of NYPL to determine if your research can be sufficiently supported there or by individual titles you can acquire through CUNY libraries or interlibrary loan.
  2. If not, discover the collection strengths of NYU and Columbia libraries. Link your research to collections that are unavailable at NYPL but that are uniquely available at NYU and Columbia libraries. Use library catalogs, subject specialty lists, and collection development information to do this. Consult with a Graduate Center reference librarian or with a successful MaRLI applicant for assistance. Frame your research needs to correlate with significant, singular collections at NYU or Columbia. 
  3. Schedule a general research consultation for MaRLI privileges with a NYPL librarian.
  4. If your NYPL interviewer extends NYU or Columbia access, you will receive email instruction about retrieving your MaRLI ID from research Library location with required identification.
  5. MaRLI members receive renewal alerts annually in early September. Continuing MaRLI members must show a current photo ID and may be required to repeat an interview. 


MaRLI Privileges

  • On-site access to book collection and archives as comparable to members of the host institution.
  • Borrowing privileges for circulating print materials. Multimedia, audio, video, microforms, and non-print not included.
  • Generally 120 day loans, subject to recall.
  • Renew and return materials at the original lending library.
  • On-site access to online journals and databases.
  • Materials off-site provided in original or in reproduction.
  • On-site reference assistance.