Libraries and Hours Ask a Librarian

Olin & Uris Libraries

Olin: Closed
Uris: Closed

Collection Highlights

Distributed between Olin and Uris Libraries, a single collection supports research and instruction at Cornell University. While its principal focus is on the humanities and social sciences, its holdings also include select engineering and physical sciences materials.

The Library Catalog provides locations and call numbers for materials held in all of the libraries. Maps of the stacks help you locate materials on the shelves in Olin and Uris Libraries.

The two adjacent libraries’ holdings of print, media and electronic resources are managed by selectors and subject specialists who choose materials for the physical collection, for online access, and for the Library Annex, which is located near the central campus. The collection reflects the university curriculum, areas of faculty research, and the Library’s historical strengths. Among especially rich holdings are those of: the central Andean countries; classics; government; history of science; Icelandic studies; linguistics; literary and cultural studies; philosophy, criticism, and theory; and United States history.

A collection of Cornell University-related publications is kept on the west end of the Uris Library Willis Room, where researchers may consult books on the history of the university, yearbooks and recent student publications. Olin Library also holds a rich collection of reference materials for study of the history of Cornell. Please consult our Cornell University Research Guide for information about specific titles. The University Archives (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections), in Kroch Library, holds the largest collection of materials for research on Cornell University’s history.

Hours and Location

The ETC computers are located in room B12 Olin Library (outside the door to the Map Collection) all hours that Olin Library is open.

The physical disks are shelved to the immediate left of the entrance to the Map Collection, B12 Olin Library. Please note that many ETC titles are now available online.

To locate these online ETC titles, go to our Databases in the Electronic Text Center page. Look for “Internet Resource” in the right-hand column (labelled Medium). The titles available online will be linked from the “Title of E-text” column at far left. Click on these titles to access the online version.

If you have questions or need assistance accessing these titles or using the ETC disks, please email us at

Title Holdings

Titles in the ETC collection are listed on the Databases in the ETC page (linked above) along with use tips, online availability, content summaries, and disks transferred to the stacks or withdrawn.

Staff providing ETC support:

Michael Engle, Reference Librarian
Devin Sanera, Instructional Technology Coordinator
Peter Campbell, Reference Assistant

Special thanks to the people who staffed and supported the Center since it opened in October 1996:

Bob Kibbee, Virginia Cole, Lynn Thitchener, Paul McMillin, Fred Muratori, Jo Miller, Kara Doyle, Clay Chiment, Megan Perez, Ashley Lin, Sarah Benson, Johanna Kramer, David Rollenhagen, Jordi Sanchez-Marti, Ijeoma Iheanacho, Saurav Bhata, Laura Heisey, and Jenn Personius.

The Map Collection in Olin Library contains over 200,000 paper maps, and 1,000 books and atlases. The collections and services are available to all students, faculty, and staff of Cornell University and also to visitors from outside the University.

Map Staff are available to answer your questions, help you identify pertinent materials, and assist you in accessing the physical collections. Staff can help you to locate maps for your research or for classroom presentation. E-mail reference service is provided to the Cornell community as well as non-Cornell patrons. Please contact with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment in the map room.

The Map Collection is located on the Lower Level of Olin Library and will not be relocated as part of the Olin Library Basement and First Floor Renewal project.

The Uris Library Dean Room houses the combined videodisc collections (DVDs, Blu-rays, and Laserdiscs) for Uris & Olin Libraries, as well as Kroch Asia Collections. DVD and Blu-ray players as well as VCRs and audiocassette players are also available for viewing in-house. Audio discs may be found in the Olin, Uris, and Kroch Libraries’ stacks, along with the book and serials collections. Analog media is housed at the Library Annex and may be requested via the Library catalog.

Media Classroom Reservations and Media Requests

To request the use of the Olin Media Classroom (instructors only) or to reserve a DVD or VHS to be used for a class, contact Olin & Uris Libraries reserves at or call 255-1882. For more information, see the Olin Media Classroom & Reservations page.

Shelved just past the Circulation Desk on Olin Library’s first floor, this section is home to about 1,000 popular fiction and non-fiction titles published within the last year. The fiction includes an assortment of novels in a variety of genres, short story collections, poetry, plays by established and prize-winning authors, as well as works by emerging authors that have garnered positive critical notice. Popular non-fiction books spanning topics in world and U.S. history, sociology, politics, science, film, sports, and religion are shelved alongside memoirs, biographies and recent works by local authors and Cornell University faculty.

New & Noteworthy books have a two-week loan period, but may be renewed. Most titles discussed in The New York Times Book Review are placed on Olin Library’s New & Noteworthy shelves, as are those that have received wide attention in the general news media. If desired, New & Noteworthy books may be requested for convenient pickup at another library (use the Requests function of the Library catalog and choose Book Delivery Services).

  • To display the current list of titles, connect to the Library Catalog. Select the call number in the drop down menu and enter ”New & Noteworthy” in the text box.
  • You may also use our New & Noteworthy books automatic search.

New Books

Of the more than 50,000 physical volumes added to Olin Library each year, most are scholarly books supporting Cornell University’s research and teaching interests in disciplines that span the social sciences and humanities. Located on the first floor of Olin Library alongside the New & Noteworthy collection, the New Books shelves showcase the 200 to 400 titles received each week. Selected by nearly 25 subject librarians, these volumes are written in a wide variety of languages and, like the New & Noteworthy books, include both fiction and non-fiction. They are arranged by Library of Congress classification in call number order and may be checked out for regular-term loan periods. The New Books section is refreshed each week.

To view online lists of recent Cornell University Library acquisitions by subject classification, see CUL New Books.

Whether researchers are on campus or working anywhere around the world, our extensive online reference resources are available to Cornell University students, faculty, and staff 24/7. The most important reference titles are available for searching and browsing through Databases, linked from the Library’s homepage. The full text of classic and current reference works like the Dictionary of National Biography, the Oxford English Dictionary, and the extensive International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences and AccessScience are available to the Cornell community, not to mention access to a host of online periodical databases. Article search results are linked to our extensive collection of full-text journals, magazines, and news sources.

Supplementing our online resources, the Olin Library print reference collection is a strong resource supporting research and instruction in the humanities and social sciences at Cornell University. Subject encyclopedias and dictionaries provide valuable context and reliable background information for humanities and social science research topics. The collection also contains almanacs, subject and national bibliographies, manuals, yearbooks, and biographical and statistical sources. The collection is located on the main floor of Olin Library.

For more information, contact the librarian in charge of the collections, Michael Engle.

As a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, Cornell University Library receives federal government publications that can be used by social scientists, historians, engineers, and scientists across campus. Many of these documents are housed in Olin Library and in the Library Annex.

In addition to both historical and current document indexes and abstracts, the Library holds a wide variety of commercial indexes which include or are exclusively devoted to government documents. The library user interface provides access to indexes, catalogs, numerical and spatial data, and full text documents that are available as networked resources through Cornell’s online catalog. Use of these commercial sources is available on-site to all visiting researchers.

Government documents at Cornell are integrated with the main collections by call number.