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.
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.
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.
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.
^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.