Rare primary sources can be a challenge to identify. Not so at Yale. Use one or more of the following three tools to obtain the bibliographic information you need quickly and easily:
1. Start your search in Orbis, as you would any other search. Rare books, cataloged manuscripts and some archival collections will be listed here irrespective of their physical location on campus. For general tips on how to best search Orbis, click here.
2. For manuscripts and archival materials, your next stop is the Yale Finding Aid Database. This database searches the full text of finding aids for archival and manuscript materials at Yale University. Finding aids are guides that provide information about the creation, historical context, arrangement, and content of archival and manuscript collections, as well as the information necessary for users to identify and request the portions relevant to their research.
Holdings of the following Yale repositories are represented in the Finding Aid Database:
3. For primary source collections that Yale has digitized, go to Digital Collections. It provides a cross-collection search tool that retrieves results from over 500,000 images in selected Library Digital Collections at various Yale repositories.
Copyright-free picture for private, academic or research purposes
Some materials in the Beinecke Rare Book and
Manuscript Library are not represented in the above-mentioned catalogs, so make sure to also check these additional resources:
• The Uncataloged Acquisitions (Beinecke materials only) is a database containing records with brief information for uncataloged printed, archival and manuscript material acquired from 1985 until the present, although the database includes some earlier acquisitions as well.
• Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Beinecke are now searchable in a separate database.
Interested in French manuscripts and archival materials outside of Yale? Use the following catalogs/databases to locate primary source collections in France, as well as elsewhere in the US and the world:
A current directory which describes over 220,000 collections of primary source material housed in thousands of repositories across the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
ArchiveGrid describes primary sources for material on family and corporate histories, personal papers, and historical records with direct search access to dispersed collections and collection descriptions. Locate relevant research institutions, arrange visits, or request copies from libraries, museums, and archives worldwide.
Database providing information on scribes and owners of mediaeval manuscripts in Europe. Information and Search interface in Latin and in German. Biographical information on and list of manuscripts produced by more than 33800 scribes; biographical information on and list of manuscripts owned by more than 15000 manuscript collectors/owners. Also single manuscripts searchable for scribe and ownership.
The following collections are located in Sterling's Manuscripts and Archives, just inside the Wall Street Entrance to SML. Some finding aids for these documents are unpublished, but are available there for reference. Click on the collection title to access the online catalog file. These links are available through Orbis.