Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Step-by-Step Borrowing Guide

Please review the steps needed to check out and/or reserve items through the Props and Costume Cages.  For questions, please email blackboxrentals@columbia.eduFor information, details, and policies regarding these steps, as well as late, broken, missing, damaged or stolen items, please see the  Borrowing Agreement page

Make an Appointment

  • Student groups wanting to check-out, check-in, tag, or view the items must make an appointment.  Walk-ins will not be taken. 

  • During the appointment, the group representative or student will meet with a Black Box Theatre team member in the Lerner 515 Suite who will walk them through the rest of the borrowing process.

For more information on hours and appointments, please see the Costumes and Props Cage page.

Sign the Student Group Borrowing Agreement 

  • Each group checking out items from the Props or Costume Cages is required to have at least one group representative (preferably the producer, president, props master, or costume designer), sign the agreement for each event for which they are borrowing items

  • The advisor will be notified the group is checking-out or reserving items. 

Tagging (Optional)

Since items are available on a first come first served basis, some student groups prefer to sort through the props and costumes in advance to secure the items they want, this is called "tagging".  

  • An appoitment must be made to tag items. Walk-ins will not be taken.

  • Students are able to look through the the cages to see what items they would like to tag.

  • Students will be given tags. The group name, event name, and dates of reservation will be written on the tag and placed on the items for reservation.

    • Tagging an item gives the group first priority during that date range, however other students groups are able to use the item before or after those dates.  

    • Items cannot be double tagged for the same date range. The group that tags the item first has priority.

  • Once tagged, the student will then register the items with the Black Box Theatre Managment Team who will record all the information inventory spreadsheet.  The student group then has priority for that item for the specified dates.

  • It is the responsibility of the group to coordinate and pick-up the items with the Black Box Theatre team.


  • An appointment must be made to check-out and/or pick-up items, regardless if they are already tagged.  Walk-ins will not be assisted.

  • Students are able to look through the closet or the cages to see what items they would like to use and/or pick up their tagged items.

  • Once the items are selected, each item will be inspected, recorded, and signed-out in the Props and Costume Inventory spreadsheet.

  • A Black Box Theatre team member will review all the rules policies, and expectations of use and will designate an agreed upon return date. 

  • An email will be sent to the student and the advisor outlining all the checked-out items and due date.

Check-in and Returns

  • An appointment must be made to Check-in/Return items. Walk-in's will not be taken.

  • Each item will be inspected upon return by a Black Box Theatre Team member to assess the items are in the same condition as they were upon check-out. 

  • Once the items are approved, they will be checked back into the system using the inventory spreadsheet.

  • Each item must be returned to their designated area in a organized manner by either the student group or Black Box Theatre Team Member.

  • When the items are returned the process is complete, the group member will receive an email outlining the list of returned items and date returned.  Unless otherwise stated, no further action from the group is needed.

Late, Broken, Missing, or Damaged Items

For information regarding late, broken, missing, damaged or stolen items, please see the  Borrowing Agreement.


Student Engagement


515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3612

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.