Research Guides


MaRLI: Manhattan Research Library Initiative

The New York Public Library (NYPL) and the libraries of Columbia University and New York University have launched an initiative to expand access and use of their collections to better serve their users. The collaboration, dubbed the Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI), enables eligible users with a demonstrable research need not met by currently available resources, to borrow materials from all three institutions.

CUNY Graduate Center photo ID card holders are eligible for NYPL Research Library borrowing privileges, with 120-day loans. Also, GC affiliates may register through NYPL for Columbia and New York University MaRLI borrowing privileges. See the Eligibility & Registration box below for details.

Also, GC affiliates (and all NYPL cardholders) may use NYPL's databases, some of which are only available on site and some of which are available remotely. See our guide to NYPL databases.


NYPL Research Study Rooms

Graduate Center students and faculty may apply to use New York Public Library’s research study rooms, spaces available in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building for those requiring intensive use of the library’s collections for the preparations of books, dissertations, or other research projects.

There are three research study rooms: the Wertheim Study, the Shoichi Noma Reading Room, and the Frederick Lewis Allen Memorial Room (for authors under book contract).

Metro Referral Cards

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


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.

NYPL applies state aid provided on CUNY's behalf to purchase books supporting CUNY scholarship. Mutual NYPL-CUNY collaboration has strengthened recently with NYPL's lending program to CUNY faculty and graduate students. But, New York State and City aid to these two great public institutions has been reduced since 1998. Read more about NYPL-CUNY & track NYS funding for CUNY-NYPL.

Eligibility & Registration

New York Public Library

  1. GC students and faculty are extended borrowing privileges for books in the NYPL research libraries that are not normally available for loan (see Lenders & Non-Participants for details). To activate these privileges, simply obtain an NYPL library card and go to Library Card Services, Room 217, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, where you will be given a special sticker for your NYPL card.
  2. Use NYPL Classic Catalog buttons or email to request NYPL books to pick-up and borrow. Scores and books from the Library for the Performing Arts are eligible for loan.

Columbia University & New York University

  1. Apply online for MaRLI privileges to borrow from Columbia or NYU. Carefully match your research interests with collection strengths. Non-PhD CUNY grads apply as "independent scholars" and note your GC program.
  2. Receive e-mail approval within 5 business days with instructions.
  3. Pick up MaRLI cards at Columbia Butler and NYU Bobst privileges offices; bring approval email, NYPL card, and another accepted form of ID.