Statistics Overview


Paper graph


ReCAP's primary service is the physical delivery of library and archives materials to the partner libraries and, though interlibrary loans, to libraries around the world. The majority of these items are books and journals, but ReCAP handles every type of media that libraries collect, including photographs, films, magnetic video and audio tape, LPs, CDs and DVDs, maps and plans, archives and records.

Physical deliveries are packed up until 3pm, and ship out overnight to the partner libraries, for processing and circulation to readers the next business day. Interlibrary loans are pulled and shipped the same day they are received. ILL items generally arrive at the borrowing library the next day or 2nd business day in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, and within one week throughout the remainder of North America. Shipment times can be longer for overseas deliveries. 

In addition to physical shipments, ReCAP delivers articles, chapters, tables of contents, and indices electronically to researchers at its partner institutions and, through interlibrary loan, library users around the world. 

  • Print Delivery: Approximately 200,000 items per year, between 600-1,000 on a typical day. 
  • Interlibrary Loans: Approximately 23,000 items per year, between 80-120 daily. 
  • Digital Delivery: Approximately 25,000 items per year, between 80-120 each day.  



Accessions through August 2019



Annual accessions approximately 750,000-1,000,000, or 3-4,000 items per day, 500 per hour. ReCAP has taken in almost 1 million items per year since opening the first storage module. Early ReCAP transfers included substantial quantities of material that had been in earlier commodity offsite storage, but now, ReCAP provides the space for libraries to take in major archival collections, collect printed materials from around the globe, and ensure the preservation of the vast and diverse research collections its partner libraries continue to acquire. 

Total ReCAP Holdings as of April 13, 2022                   17,027,756
        Columbia University Library         5,372,487
         Columbia Law Library            349,244
        Harvard Library         1,162,882
        New York Public Library          6,099,631
        Princeton University Library          4,043,512


Thanks to a recent expansion of its racking in Module 9, ReCAP has increased its capacity to approximately 19 million items. A next phase of expansion is under review, to investigate additional freezer storage and the possibility of incorporating even high density, fully automated collections storage. 

Modules 1-4 each house approximately 1.5 - 2 million items, and the larger plan modules - 5, 8, and 9 - each hold 3.5 - 4.5 million items.