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About the library

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library is home to a specialized collection of books, journals and online materials with an emphasis on bioinformatics, cancer research, genetics, molecular biology, neurobiology and plant genetics. Our mission is to provide our scientists, staff and graduate students, and meeting and course participants, with scientific information and access to a state-of-the-art scientific library.

Access to the Library
The CSHL Library is open to all Laboratory staff and students, as well as meeting and course participants. Library branches in other buildings may not be accessible after hours. Please contact library staff if you need a book or journal and cannot get to the library you need.
The Library is open to visitors from outside the Laboratory by appointment only.  Please contact Mila Pollock, (516)367-8493 or

Account numbers for Interlibrary Loans and Copying. 
Some Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests and requests for a PIN to use the Library copying machines require that you provide us with a grant or account number to charge. Please contact Gail Sherman ( or ext. 8352 or ILL Office in Library basement by the back door) to get a PIN or request an ILL

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives was created in 1972 and houses a rich repository of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and scientific reprints documenting genetic research, and the work of the Laboratory faculty, since 1890. The Archives makes its collection available to scholars, graduate students and writers interested in the history of molecular biology and genetics. The Archives' mission is to gather and preserve information and materials related to the history of molecular biology and genetics and the development of the Laboratory, and to make this documentation available worldwide.  Access to Archives materials is by appointment only, please contact Archives staff at: or (516)367-8414

Article Indexes and Research Databases
The CSHL Library subscribes to many indexes and databases to help support the research of the Lab. We also provide links to useful free databases and a chart to help you choose the best database for your subject. Please consult our Database List and the Database Descriptions page.

Ask a reference question
Contact our Reference Desk, via e-mail or at x6872.
You may also chat online with a librarian at:

Audio-video resources
Videos in the CSHL Library collection are listed in the online catalog iLink.  Videos are stored in the Reserve Room.  Please ask a library staff member retrieve the videos you need.  Videos may be borrowed for one week or they may be viewed in the Library.

Bibliographic management software
EndNote bibliographic management software package is useful for keeping track of research sources and for generating notes and lists of works cited. These packages can be used to manage bibliographic citations for research papers, theses, and books. For more information, see  the EndNote web site and the CSHL IT site.

Bindery Services
We will make arrangements for you to have your thesis, journals or other material bound by our bindery service. Please contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352 or for more information.

The major part of our collection of over 10,000 books, manuals, textbooks and series is housed in the Main Library. Specialized collections can be found in many of the Laboratory's buildings to support scientists working in specific fields.  Rare and historic books are housed in the CSHL Archives in the Carnegie building.  All books are listed in the Library online catalog, iLink.

Borrowing Policy Books may be borrowed from the Library for 4 weeks. On Reserve books and videos may be borrowed for 1 week. Bound journals, current journals, reference books, series and materials from special collections do not circulate.  If you need a book that is on loan, please contact a library staff member to put it on hold.  Books may be renewed if there is no hold on the book.

Branch libraries Specialized collections of books and journals are held in Banbury, Beckman, Delbruck, Demerec, Freeman, James and Marks to support scientists working in specific fields.  All books and journals are listed in the  library catalog, iLink.

The Library online catalog contains books, journals, videos and archival materials.  It is available online at iLink.
Please note: the old card catalog in the Carnegie Library is not up to date.

Circulation see also Borrowing Policy
Books can be signed out of the main library by filling out the card in the back of the book and putting it in the box on the chest in the entrance hall.  Books can be returned to the box in the front vestibule of the  Carnegie Library or to the library boxes in the branch libraries.

Citing sources
EndNote, the bibliographic software package supported by IT will automatically format your references for the journal to which you are submitting a paper (see  the EndNote web site and the CSHL IT site.)  There are also books and web sites available to help with citing papers and other materials when wiriting papers.  Use the keyword 'writing' in iLink  to search for books available at CSHL.  Online you can use the Council of Biology Editors style or  the National Library of Medicine guide for citing journals.

Contact the Library
Main Library phone (516)367-6872


You may also chat online with a librarian at:

Interlibrary Loans phone (516)367-8352


Address: 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724

Copying services see Photocopy services

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.f a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.  This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Digital Library Collection
The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Library has been at the forefront in providing Internet access to databases and journals for scientists, The aim has always been to selectively collect digital materials designed specifically for the needs of CSHL scientists and their research. Online materials may be accessed through the Library web site

Electronic Books

           The CSHL Library has a growing collection of e-books including:

  • Current Protocols
  • Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
  • Harrison's Online (Principles of Internal Medicine)
  • World Book Encyclopedia
  • Oxford English Dictionary
  • Wiley Medical Sciences Book Collection
  • complete list


  • BioMedNet Reviews - Search and download articles from Current Opinions and Trends journals.
  • Faculty of 1000 - Reviews of important new papers by prominent subject specialists.
  • ISI Web of Knowledge- Search Science Citation Index, which includes links to full-text online journals in the Library collection, and JCR (Journal Citation Reports).
  • Science Direct - Search over 1080 Elsevier journals, full-text access to titles in the Library collection.
  • Find It - Allows users to click on a bibliographic citation in a database, and view a list of services available for that article, which may include its online full-text version, among other resources. Uses SFX software from Ex Libris. Please contact Library staff for further information,
  • BioKnowledge Library from Proteome - Powerful collection of databases on protein information
  • complete list

Full-text Online Journals
CSHL Library subscribes to almost 300 journals full-text online, many of which are also received in print.   Online journals allow us to have a flexible collection that responds to the changing research of CSHL scientists. We also have full-text access to older volumes of major science journals through JSTOR including Science, PNAS.  All our online journals can be search using our Journal Holdings List.

Please check our web site  regularly for an up-to-date list of online books, databases and journals available at the CSHL Library.

Digital Special Collections

Photo Archives
Selected images from our Photograph Collection have been scanned and are now available on the Internet through the CSHL Archives web site. These include all the photographs taken at the Annual Symposia from 1935 to the present

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Publications Bibliography 1890-1965
A database of pre-1966 CSHL publications is available for searching on the CSHL Library and Archives web site.

Document Delivery Service - see Photocopying services for materials in Library and Interlibrary Loans for materials not in the collection.

The Digital Object Identifier is a means of persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property (a creation) on a digital network, irrespective of its current location.
(Source: International DOI Foundation

The CSHL Library has a growing collection of Ebooks.

The CSHL Library has over 300 full-text journals available to CSHL staff and students.  Learn about Find It and see how easy it is to go from a PubMed or Web of Knowledge abstract to the full-text article.

Job openings at the CSHL Library and Archvies are listed by CSHL Human Resources.

The CSHL Archives has been involved with several online and installed exhibitions. Please see our Exhibitions page.

EZproxy is server based software provided by the Library that is used to faciliate access to our online resources and online subscriptions for off campus users. Use the links from our Journals Holdings List page or Database page to use the properly formed URL's.

Only users who have a secondary (also called phage or dmz ) username and password are able to use EZproxy.
This password must be created on campus. Click here to set a secondary password.

Only those online resources that use IP recognition will be able to be accessed by EZproxy
Those subscriptions that use multiple usernames/passwords to login will not work with EZproxy - unless you know the specific usernames/passwords that the journal/database requires will you be able to access that resource, Ex: Frontiers in Bioscience.

For solutions to common EZProxy access, see the FAQ page.

Find It
This service provides direct links from a database citation to the full text of the article (if available) and other service options.Find It! uses SFX software developed and provided by the Ex Libris Corporation.

The CSHL Library gratefully accepts gifts of books, manuscripts, and other materials that are within the scope of its collections. We are especially interested in the scientific papers of CSHL scientists.  Prospective donors are asked to consult with Mila Pollock, Director of Libraries and Archives, or (516)367-8493. Please note that by law the Library cannot appraise or estimate the value of any gift, although we will provide a letter itemizing your gift.

All library areas are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to Laboratory staff. Staff members are available in the Main Library Monday to Friday, 8am-9pm, and 10am-6pm most Saturdays. Visitors and those wishing to visit the archives can use the library by appointment only.

Library staff are happy to help you with anything you need from the Library or our web site. If you require in-lab instruction or would like a special instruction session on a particular database or EndNote for your lab meeting, please contact Mila Pollock at or ext. 8493 or fill out this form.

Interlibrary Loans
Our Interlibrary Loans department locates and obtains copies of any needed materials that are not in the CSHL Library collections (print or online). Copies of journal articles, books, videos, government reports, patents and theses can be borrowed or ordered from libraries or other organizations around the world.

Interlibrary Loans are submitted through the ILLiad system.
ILLiad requires users to register for an ILLiad account.
This account is set up the first time the user enters the ILLiad system by clicking on the NEW USER link. The account uses the same user name as the CSHL email system, but requires a new password, which is set up during registration.

Requests may be submitted by:

  • Going to ILLiad
  • E-mailing the pertinent information to Gail Sherman,
  • Filling out a form at the desk in the Library entry hall.
  • Set up a My NCBI account and choose CSHL from OUTSIDE TOOLS. Then you can send requests directly from your PubMed search through FINDIT! (SFX)

The CSHL collection includes 500 current titles plus several newspapers and magazines.  Print and online journals can be search using our Journal Holdings List. Our collection of bound journals contains over 5,000 volumes, some of which are housed in a storage room at the Woodbury facility. Please contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352 or if you need a journal from storage.

Loan periods
Books may be borrowed for 4 weeks.  Videos may be borrowed for a week.  Please see library staff if you need to borrow any other materials and we try to accomodate your needs.

All materials in the CSHL Library have been assigned call numbers and are shelved in specific named locations. When you find an item in iLink, it is important to note both the location code and the call number.  Please see library staff if you have any problems finding what you need.

Location in iLink  Where to find the material
Archives in Main Library, contact Archives staff
Being: acquired, fixed, processed, returned, transferred Contact library staff for help.
Bindery Contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352 or
Checked Out Contact library staff to request a hold.
Course Collection Contact library staff for help.
Course Delete shelf Contact library staff for help.
Dissertation/Theses shelf Basement of Main Library.
Donated items Contact library staff for help.
End of Bound Journals Basement of Main Library. Computer room.
Internet Email if you cannot access.
Item is not on shelf Contact library staff for help.
Item is part of exhibit Contact library staff for help.
Item is missing Contact library staff for help.
James D. Watson Special Collection Archives in Main Library,contact Archives staff
Library Office Contact library staff for help.
Satellite libraries: Contact library staff for help if you can't find materials.
  • Banbury
Banbury Conference Center
  • Beckman
Third floor.
  • Delbruck
Meeting Room
  • Demerec
Conference Room
  • Freeman

  • James
Conference Room
  • Keck
Basement of Beckman
  • Marks

  • Woodbury
Conference room
Lost Contact library staff for help.
Lost and paid for Contact library staff for help.
Main Library circulating collection Basement of Main Library.
Monographs in Series
Main Library Reading Room
New Book Shelf Main Library Reading Room
On Reserve Contact library staff for help.
On Hold Contact library staff for help.
On loan to another library Contact library staff for help.
Out of Print Collection Contact library staff for help.
Oversize Materials Basement of Main Library. Separate shelf.
Racker Reading Room Blackford Hall
Reference Basement of Main Library. Reference room.
See Note Contact library staff for help.
Storage at Woodbury Contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352 or
Video Collection Contact library staff for help.

Lost and missing materials
There are some lost and missing materials in the CSHL Libraries.  Please contact library staff if you can't find what you need.   We can order what you need via ILL if we cannot find it.

Maps, Historic
There is a collection of old maps of the Laboratory grounds and the Cold Spring Harbor area in the CSHL Archvies.  Please contact the Archives staff to make an or (516)367-8414

Microfilm Collection
Journals available on microfilm are noted in the CSHL Journal Holdings List The collection includes complete runs of major scientific journals, including Nature, PNAS, etc. A microfilm reader/printer in the study room on the basement level of the Main Library provides fast access to the microfilm collection.  Access to older journals is also available online via JSTOR.

My NCBI is a feature of PubMed that allows users to customize their Web services To use it, you must first register, and your browser must accept cookies. You can use My NCBI to: Save searches, Set up e-mail alerts for new content , Display links to Web resources (LinkOut), Choose filters that group search results. Like all NCBI resources, My NCBI is free.

The current New York Times, Newsday, Wall Street Journal and Village Voice are available in the Main Reading Room of the Carnegie Library.  No back issues are held.  

Off-campus access to library resources
The CSHL Library web site is available to everyone via the WWW.  However, access to online journals, ebooks and some other materials is restricted to CSHL IP addresses.  If you need to use online journals and ebooks from home contact the IT department to set up Remote Access to  CSHL websites. 

Online catalog
The Library online catalog contains books, journals, videos and archival materials.  It is available online at iLink.
Please note: the old card catalog in the Carnegie Library is not up to date.

Periodicals and newspapers
Academic journals, popular magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and other serials exist at CSHL in numerous locations and in both print and digital formats. Recent issues of many journals are shelved in the Periodicals Reading Roomand in current periodicals areas in the branch libraries.  The CSHL Journal Holdings List provides a listing of all print and online periodicals.

Photocopy Services
Equipment: Two photocopiers are located in the copy room. A networked color copier is located in the book room.

  • Self-Service Copying - Please see Library staff for a PIN number (you must have an account to which you can charge the copies) .
  • Service Copying - Requests for copies of materials in the CSHL collection may be given to a Library staff member or sent to Gail Sherman, ext. 8352,, for delivery via interoffice mail. There is an extra fee for this service.
  • Express Copying - If you need a full-service request quickly we can deliver it to you via fax or e-mail, usually within 4 hours during regular hours, Monday to Friday. There is an extra fee for this service.   Please contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352,

Rare Books
The rare books in the CSHL Archives collection are listed in the online catalog iLink   If you wish to use any of these titles, please contact the Archives staff to make an appointment, or (516)367-8414

Books may be recalled for another patron if they have been out for more than 4 weeks.

Recommendations for acquisitions
Use our online forms to suggest a book or journal for purchase.

Reference Collection
This non-circulating collection in the Main Library basement has been carefully developed to contain materials-general and specialized encyclopedias, language and acronym dictionaries (specifically related to science), biographical dictionaries, bibliographies, handbooks and directories - intended to provide answers to factual questions. .

Reference Services and Instruction
Library staff members are happy to help with any of your information needs. Questions may be brought in person, via telephone or sent to the reference e-mail, The Library staff in cooperation with IT staff, provides classes in using various library related databases and programs, e.g. EndNote, PubMed. We will also do individualized in-lab/office training for CSHL staff.

Remote access  see Off-campus access to library resources

Books may be renewed as long as there is not hold on the title.  Books may be recalled once renewed if another patron requires them.  

Materials may be put On Reserve when they are heavily used or need to be available for courses.  Access is restricted.  Please ask library staff to retrieve these materials for you.  Loan period  is generally one week but may be less at the request of the course instructor.

Science Librarians Services
Reference services via telephone, email, and instant messenger; assistance in identifying/locating journal articles, books, and other resources; technical assistance in using databases and bibliographic management software; literature searches; help with depositing manuscripts/complying with public access policies.

SFX provides links from a citation in a database to the full text of that article in another database if available. (not all articles are available electronically).

Search the library databases as you normally would. Look for CSHL's SFX icon: ""
Clicking on this icon will open a window that displays a menu of your available options for this item, which may include:

  • full text (if the article is available somewhere in the library's electronic collection) You may see more that one full-text option in the menu because the library may subscribe to more than one full text version of the same journal.
  • Interlibrary Loan (if the article is not available).
  • A link to the Library's Online Catalog.
  • A DOI (Digital Objects Identifier) Link
  • The option to download the citation into EndNote.

Because SFX will open new windows, applications that block pop-ups must be disabled in order for SFX to work in some databases.

SFX provides two additional services:

  • azlist, an electronic journal holdings list
  • citation linker, links to full-text (if available) providing you have a full citation

Special Collections
Library special collections include reprints of CSHL scientists, dissertations of graduate students who did research at CSHL, Annual Reports of CSHL and CSHL Press books (current and out of print).  All of these materials are listed in the online catalog iLink and the location is indicated

Archives special collections include: James D. Watson Collection, Ridley Collection of Rare Books in Genetics, reprints of CSH scientists (1890 - present), thematic collections (personal research materials of scientists in selected areas of research such as Yeast Genetics and etc), Oral History DVD Collection. (see for clips from this collection.)  Access to Archives materials is by appointment only, please contact Archives staff at: or (516)367-8414

Staff directory

Because CSHL cannot house all our books and other materials, many less-used items are shelved in our storage site on the Woodbury campus. Items from this location will be delivered to the main campus library on demand, generally the following weekday. The Main Catalog indicates when an item is located in storage. Please contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352 or ill@cshl.eduif you need a journal from storage.

Study Space
Rooms are available for quiet research and study. The study room or desk within a study space may be reserved for hours or entire days and include lock cabinets. Please contact library staff for details at ext. 6872

Theses and dissertations
There is a special shelf for  CSHL theses in the Library basement.  All theses can be found in our online catalog, iLink.
Binding of theses can be done through the library.  Please contact Gail Sherman, ext. 8352 or

The library video collection can be searched using the online catalog iLink. Videos include cell videos, CSHL press videos and lectures.  Please contact library staff for access to videos or the Library video player.

Visitor Information

Wireless access
Some areas of the Carnegie Library have been set up for wireless network access.  Please ask Library staff.

© 2005   CSHL Library and Archives   1 Bungtown Rd.   Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724   Library Information 516-367-6872
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