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Research Guides


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 (NYU) Libraries, and Columbia University Libraries (for access to the Butler Library).

A consultation with an NYPL research librarian is required for MaRLI privileges; see details below.



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

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. Identify what collections or items you would access only via MaRLI access--your application may be turned away if your needs could be met already through CUNY or via NYPL's collections. Consult with a Graduate Center reference librarian for assistance as needed.
  2. Schedule a general research consultation for MaRLI privileges with a NYPL librarian.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.