Libraries and Hours Ask a Librarian

Olin & Uris Libraries

Olin: Open until Midnight
Uris: Open until 11pm

Collection Highlights

Distributed between Olin and Uris Libraries, a single collection supports research and instruction at Cornell. 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-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’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: okuref [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 & Geospatial Information Collection in Olin Library offers instruction, reference, and consulting as well as access to scanners and GIS software.. Currently, it contains over 300,000 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, to help you identify pertinent materials, and to assist you in using the map storage area. They can help you to locate maps for your research or for classroom presentation. We provide e-mail reference service to the Cornell community as well as non-Cornell patrons. Please contact us at with any questions you have, or to schedule an appointment in the map room.

The Map Room is located on the Lower Level of Olin Library. See below for information about our collections, services, and hours of operation, including links to useful geographic and cartographic internet sites.

The Uris Library Dean Room houses the combined videodisc collections (DVDs, Blu-rays, and Laserdiscs) for Uris, Olin, and Kroch Asia Libraries. 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 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 Reserves at or call 255-1882. For more information, see the Olin Media Classroom & Reservations page.

The micrographic collections—microfiche, microfilm and microprint—are located in the Olin Library Lower Level stacks, and microform viewers are housed outside the Map & Geospatial Information collection, along with two 8 1/2 x 11 networked scanners.

The micrographic equipment is located in Room B12 in the Lower Level of Olin Library and is maintained by the Map Collection staff. The machines support all formats found in the collection (microfilm, microfiche, microprint/cards). Users have the options of scanning/saving or printing the documents they are viewing.

Micrographic Equipment List

Minolta MS 6000 photo

Minolta MS 6000 – four machines available. The machine allows the user to read on screen, print on paper, or scan to PC. The Minolta MS6000 allows for dual output, to switch from PC scanning to high-speed laser printing at the touch of a button. Microfilm and microfiche reading/printing/scanning capabilities; no micro card recognition. Only Net-Print printing available.

ST ViewScan photo

ST ViewScan – two machines available. The machine offers an intuitive Windows desktop application look and the convenience of viewing enhanced digital live images on a PC screen before scan, capture, and output. It combines industry-standard motorized roll film carriers with a small camera design and new technology. All-format capabilities. Only Net-Print printing available.

Shelved just past the Circulation Desk on Olin’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 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’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 this automatic searchNew & Noteworthy books

New Books

Of the more than 50,000 physical volumes added to Olin Library each year, most are scholarly books supporting Cornell’s research and teaching interests in disciplines that span the social sciences and humanities. Located on the first floor of Olin 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 CU 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 students, faculty, and staff 24/7. The most important reference titles are available for searching and browsing through Databases, linked from Library’s home page. 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. 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.

Federal Library Depository Program


Subject Areas

Federal government publications received via the Federal Depository Library Program are used by social scientists, historians, engineers, and scientists across the Cornell library system. For many years, three libraries on campus – Law, Mann and Olin — have functioned as selective depositories within the FDLP, receiving a selection of sometimes overlapping government publications from all three branches of the US government, including many agency documents.

In 2011, a Cornell University Library task force was charged with developing new selection policies for its depository collections. Current selection policies stipulate no duplication of tangible items among the three libraries, selecting virtual by default; paper only when desirable or necessary for certain types of publications, and discontinuing selection of most CDROMS, while continuing to provide access to all online and print publications via the library catalog.

The library also houses an archival set of Readex microform since the inception of this set. The set includes non-depository items from 1953-2007 and depository items from 1956-2008. These sets are housed in the Olin Library Microforms Collection. Replacement decisions and other collection development decisions may be taken with the existence and character of this set in mind.

Collection Arrangement

Government documents at Cornell are integrated with the main collections and classified in Library of Congress.


Current item selection practice is to select electronic documents, by default; however, approximately 3% of publications from the GPO are not yet available in digital format. In addition, for some research purposes, print publications may provide a level of access that is superior to the online versions. The Documents Coordinator works with individual selectors to identify any publications that we should continue to receive in print. There is a record for every FDLP publication we have in our selection profile, whether the item is available electronically or in print.

Resource Sharing

The depository at Olin Library shares the benefits of resource sharing arrangements in place for the entire Cornell University Library. We have an active interlibrary loan department. Our interlibrary loan system in New York State relies heavily on the resources of the New York State Library, our Regional Library for federal documents. Borrowing documents in this way from our Regional constitutes the relationship which we have with that library, which is geographically remote from Ithaca. We are a member of the Center for Research Libraries through which patrons may borrow lesser-used materials purchased for member use.

Resource sharing among the three depositories on the Cornell campus, Olin Library, Albert R. Mann Library, and the Cornell Law Library is extensive and an integral part of collection development at each individual depository and for CUL as a whole. We are located on one campus, where our libraries are in walking and campus bus service distance. We share one library online catalog and collection of electronic resources. Librarians from the three depositories are active in the campus collection development organization as members of the Social Sciences selection team.


Online documents, which are referenced in the library’s catalog, are available at all times. Documents in all formats are cataloged with bibliographic and holdings information available in the library’s online catalog, which is a single integrated file. The online catalog is available to users both on site during regular library hours and remotely, both on and off campus at all hours.

Tangible documents (books, maps and CDROMs) are freely accessible to members of the public during library hours. Some older, fragile or less-used documents are currently housed in the Library Annex. Items held in the Annex may be requested via an online form and can be viewed at the Annex, with easy bus and parking access, or delivered to any library on campus. In addition, documents may be requested via Interlibrary Loan to any of the public libraries in the area. Professional librarians and trained reference assistants with knowledge of government documents and the skills to find them are available at regularly scheduled hours throughout the day and evening. In addition, the library provides remote reference assistance through e-mail, online chat, and postal mail.

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.