Within its 97,000 square feet, the Kroch Library has more than thirty miles of shelving and room for approximately 1.3 million volumes and 20,000 cubic feet of manuscript material. All three levels provide space for people as well as collections; comfortable study areas for patrons and offices for staff members are clustered around the atrium.
The top and middle floors house the Cornell Library's Asia Collections - the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia, the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia, and the South Asia Collection. Cornell is widely regarded as having one of the largest and most significant collections of Asian historical and literary materials in North America. Also located on the top floor is the Severinghaus Asia Reading Room, a gift from the Henry Luce Foundation honoring Leslie R. Severinghaus '21. Here students, faculty, and visitors can peruse over 7,000 volumes of reference sources, a selection of more than 100 leading newspapers from twenty Asian countries, and the latest issues of nearly 400 research and popular journals.
The library’s Rare and Manuscript Collections, including Cornell’s own archives are housed in a secure, climate-controlled vault on the lower level of the Kroch Library. On the same floor is a special reading room where patrons have the opportunity to read, study - and, yet, touch rare books, ancient manuscripts, antiquarian maps, prints, and photographs.