Covid-19 Continuity: Explore the library's online resources and services, or consult our service updates.

Research Guides


NYPL Services During COVID-19

As part of its gradual reopening, the New York Public Library is offering enhanced online services and grab-and-go service at multiple locations.  For up to date reopening guidelines, check NYPL's reopening page or sign up for Research at NYPL email updates to receive announcements and service updates.  

On-Site Research:  As of May 10, 2021, researchers can schedule an appointment to visit any of the New York Public Library’s four Research Libraries – the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Performing Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, or the Business Center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (formerly the Science and Business Library, or SIBL).  Before doing so, you’ll need to meet virtually with an NYPL librarian, in advance of your visit – so be sure to plan ahead, and schedule enough time in advance for your research needs. 

Additional Services include:

Shared Research Collections

NYPL's Rose Reading Room

Patrons in the Rose Reading Room of NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. (Photo is © Moody Man, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.)

"The development of a permanent rapprochement between the Graduate School and the New York Public Library — with a long-range commitment of public funds under an agreement that would permit the university’s cooperation in the development of those NYPL policies that affect its research collections — should be one of the Graduate School’s top priorities for the near future."

– Mina Rees. The First Ten Years of the Graduate School of the City University of New York. August 1972, p. 10.

Enhanced NYPL Borrowing for GC Students and Faculty

NYPL extends borrowing of select material for GC affiliates, for pick-up and return at an NYPL research library. Register for NYPL extended borrowing privileges by bringing an NYPL card (apply online or in person at any NYPL location) and a GC ID card to an NYPL research library. With these, NYPL library staff will issue a CUNY-GC sticker for your NYPL library card that signals extended borrowing privileges. 

GC affiliates with extended borrowing privileges may borrow select materials in the Research Catalog ( and the ReCAP Shared Collection ( for pick-up and return at an NYPL research library, with 120-day loans, renewable by in-person request. NYPL extended borrowing cards renew every September.

For pick-up and return at the GC, request NYPL books from both NYPL catalogs for 120-day loans through GC interlibrary loan using GC credentials.

Databases and E-Book Collections

Any NYPL barcode allows off-site access to many NYPL research library databases, including e-book and archival collections not available through the GC Library. Use your NYPL barcode to reach NYPL e-resources from the NYPL site (

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Access to Libraries Temporarily Restricted

Access to many libraries — in NYC and around the world — continues to be curtailed because of the coronavirus. Before planning a visit to another library, including any library in the SHARES and/or METRO programs, check to make sure it is open to visitors.

For information about the New York Public Library, check NYPL's reopening page or sign up for Research at NYPL email updates to receive announcements and service updates.  Read more about NYPL's available services during COVID-19 in this guide.  

Unsure what’s available to you? Ask us for help.

The New York Public Library and the Graduate Center

CUNY's PhD programs have been supported from their beginnings by NYPL collections, services, and spaces. In 1962 CUNY became a doctoral degree-granting university, and the CUNY Graduate Center opened in the W.R. Grace Building on 42nd Street, just across from the NYPL Research Libraries' Main Branch, now called the Stephen A. Schwarzman building, or SASB. Throughout the GC's history, NYPL has been CUNY's research library. 

In 1968, CUNY Chancellor Albert H. Bowker and CUNY Graduate Studies Dean Mina S. Rees, backed by the CUNY Council of Chief Librarians, sought a formal arrangement with NYPL to support CUNY's new doctoral programs. They enlisted the American Council of Leaned Societies (ACLS) to outline the mutual benefits of such a collaboration: CUNY doctoral scholars would secure access to a world-class research library, and NYPL, a private not-for-profit corporation dedicated to public service, would be compensated annually by CUNY's funders. This relationship continues to this day, providing approximately $2 million in annual New York State Library funding to NYPL, specifically to support CUNY PhD programs. For nearly fifty years, New York City and then New York State, on behalf of CUNY doctoral students and faculty, has provided NYPL with a $1 million to $2 million annual revenue stream. The state supplies NYPL an additional $8 million per year to support book collections, undesignated research, services to the blind, the Schomburg Center, and SIBL.

NYPL today applies its CUNY-earmarked funding to support NYPL library collections, staff salaries, building maintenance, and capital expenses, in excess of specific GC-serving projects like interlibrary loan and a set of shared Readex databases. During the 1970s and 1980s, NYPL provided CUNY PhD students and faculty with study carrels and reserve shelving at NYPL, access to special collections and to pre-cataloged books, and expedited photocopying. GC affiliates used NYPL's reference service, and GC faculty contributed to NYPL purchase decisions. The GC Library displayed updated printouts of NYPL acquisitions and NYPL dictionary catalogs in the GC reference collection. NYPL's membership in the Research Libraries Group (RLG) allowed GC scholars to borrow material from the nation's largest libraries through NYPL's interlibrary loan. CUNY graduate students and faculty occupied a majority of the NYPL's Wertheim room into the 1990s, and CUNY scholars still constitute about 30% of NYPL study room occupants.

The GC Library's e-resource collections expanded over the 1980s and 1990s as vendors licensed digitized scholarly resources to exclusive constituencies. GC library funding increased. With the growth of the Library Network, including the Center for Research Libraries and the IDS Project, the GC Library provides scholars with exponentially more than before. The Graduate Center moved from 42nd St in 1999 to its current location at 34th St. and Fifth Ave., a few blocks away from the NYPL Main branch. Throughout the 2000s, library networks expanded the range of discoverable materials in collaboratively sourced library catalogs and sped delivery of scanned material, even to scholars unaffiliated with research libraries. The 2006 introduction of intra-CUNY library borrowing deepened CUNY support for graduate programs, and established the Graduate Center Library as a hub of intra-library and electronic delivery. 

GC - NYPL services advanced  in 2011 when GC and NYPL administration agreed to allow PhD students to borrow books from the NYPL research collections, picking up and returning select, vetted titles at NYPL. Simultaneously, NYPL and their commercial vendors expanded off-site database access for any NYPL card-holder (not only GC affiliates). Since 2013, NYPL has participated in the GC's yearly OneStop registration to supply all new GC students with borrowing cards, and simultaneously with NYPL barcodes for access to NYPL databases.

NYPL with Columbia and NYU also opened the MaRLI consortium in 2011. NYPL staff will interview any NYC scholar to determine if their needs warrant access to NYU and Columbia collections. In 2015, NYPL boosted interlibrary loan delivery of NYPL titles to the GC Library, allowing GC interlibrary loan borrowers to request delivery of NYPL books for 120-day loans (subject to recall by other borrowers). With this, CUNY GC users may borrow directly from the NYPL research libraries using NYPL catalogs with NYPL library cards, or GC borrowers may request NYPL books for pick-up at the GC through GC interlibrary loan.

In 2016 NYPL improved online access to NYPL's Readex databases to GC scholars, making them available through the GC Library platform, with GC credentials. GC librarians aim to sharpen NYPL's focus on book, article, and e-resource sharing with the CUNY GC by expanding e-resource availability and by keeping MaRLI borrowing a viable option for CUNY graduate students and faculty.