Yale University Library

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Yale University Library
Sterling Memorial Library 4, September 1, 2008.jpg
Country United States
Type Academic library
Established 1701
Location New Haven, Connecticut
Branches 15
Size 15.2 million volumes[1][nb 1]
Other information
Budget US$105.7 million (2012–13)[1]
Director Susan Gibbons[3]
Staff 550 FTEs
Website http://www.library.yale.edu/

Yale University Library is the library system of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Originating in 1701 with the gift of several dozen books to a new "Collegiate School," the library's collection now contains approximately 15.2 million volumes housed in fifteen university buildings and is third-largest academic library in North America.[1][4]


Sterling Memorial Library[edit]

The library's largest building, Sterling Memorial Library, contains about four million volumes in the humanities, social sciences, area studies, as well as several special collections projects and the department of Manuscripts and Archives. The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library resides within Sterling Library, and the building is connected via tunnel to the underground Bass Library, a facility for frequently-used materials.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library[edit]

Beinecke Rare Book Library

Opened in 1963, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is the library's principal repository of rare and historical books and manuscripts. It holds approximately 800,000 volumes, including a Gutenberg Bible, the Voynich manuscript, the Vinland map and the papers and manuscripts of major authors and artists, with particular strengths in American literature.[5]

Lillian Goldman Law Library[edit]

Law Library main reading room

The Lillian Goldman Law Library, situated in Sterling Law Building of the Yale Law School, contains nearly 800,000 volumes relating to law and jurisprudence. These include one of the most significant collections of rare books pertaining to legal history, as well as the most complete collection of William Blackstone's commentaries.[6]

Other major facilities[edit]

Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library

The Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, Yale's medical library, houses a collection of historical medical works. The Center for Science and Social Science Information, situated in Kline Biology Tower on Science Hill, contains science and social science works consolidated from the former Kline Science Library facilities. The Haas Arts Library in Rudolph Hall houses art and architectural materials.

The Yale University Library includes libraries beyond its campus in New Haven. The Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut is a research library for eighteenth-century studies and the prime source for the study of Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill. The Library Shelving Facility, a closed-access, climate-controlled facility that houses 4 million infrequently-accessed volumes, is located in Hamden, Connecticut.[7][8]

Further reading[edit]

  • Taylor, Merrily E. (1978). The Yale University Library, 1701-1978, its history, collections, and present organization. New Haven: Yale University Library. 


  1. ^ 2013 figures for total print and electronic volumes held are reported by Yale University. The most recent Association of Research Libraries Statistical yearbook (2011–2012) reports 13.5 million volumes.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Gibbons, Susan (2013). Yale University Library Annual Report 2012–2013 (Report). Yale University Library. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  2. ^ ARL Statistics 2011–2012 (Report). Association of Research Libraries. 2012. p. 53. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "New Yale Librarian named: Susan Gibbons of Rochester". YaleNews. Yale University. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "ALA Library Fact Sheet 22 – The Nation's Largest Libraries: A Listing by Volumes Held". American Library Association. July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Rierdan, Ari (29 July 1990). "The View From the Beinecke Library at Yale". New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (16 June 2013). "English Gavels Resound in a Trove Headed to Yale". New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Library Shelving Facility: Fact Sheet". Yale University Library. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Needham, Paul (11 February 2009). "Finding space for Yale’s volumes". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°18′40″N 72°55′42″W / 41.311°N 72.9284°W / 41.311; -72.9284