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Exhibitions in Sterling Memorial Library: What's happening now


Celebrating Yale History in Manuscripts & Archives

June - August 2016

Curators: Bill Landis and Jessica Becker 

The Manuscripts and Archives Department in the Yale University Library is a treasure trove of resources documenting the history of Yale, from the 1701 minutes of a meeting of seven of the ten founding ministers of the Collegiate School (renamed Yale College in 1718), to images, email files, and other born-digital material created within the past year by the University’s offices and groups. This exhibit showcases items from the University Archives, Yale publications, and manuscript collections, organized around the themes of Yale People, Student Life, Yale and the World, and Places and Programs. It explores people such as Henry Roe Cloud (B.A. 1910, M.A. 1914), Yale’s first full-blood Native American graduate; Louise Whitman Farnam (Ph.D. 1916, M.D. 1920), the first woman to graduate from the Yale School of Medicine; and Sylvia Ardyn Boone (M.A. 1974, Ph.D. 1979), the first African American woman to receive tenure at Yale. It also features the Chinese Students’ Christian Association in North America, which counts Chengting Wang (B.A. 1910) among its founders, and the anti-apartheid protests on campus in the late 1980s. The collection materials on exhibit are just the tip of the iceberg of primary sources available throughout the Yale University Library for exploring the people, places, and events that have contributed to over 300 years of Yale University history.


Senators, Sinners, and Supermen: The 1950s Comic Book Scare and Juvenile Delinquency

May 6 - September 22, 2016

Curator: Stephanie Tomasson ’16

In the spring of 1954, amid the Cold War paradox between nuclear threat and suburban bliss, Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee led a crusade against crime and horror comic books. These ten-cent “manuals for crime” were seen as aggravators of the growing problem of juvenile delinquency. Senators, Sinners and Supermen draws from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Special Collections at the Yale Divinity School Library, Sterling Memorial Library, and Manuscripts and Archives, and it explores the comic book scare and its lasting legacy. This exhibit emerged from Stephanie Tomasson's (Yale Class of 2016) senior essay for the history department. Tomasson conducted archival research across all of Yale’s collections and in the Estes Kefauver Papers at the Modern Political Archives of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.