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Model Research Collection: Proposal Process

The Model Research Collection is a new initiative that aims to show an individual’s or group’s process of investigation of a particular topic as expressed physically through a collection of library resources.

What we want to know

Need to know:

  • Lead curator (applicant’s name)
  • Yale email address
  • Yale affiliation (must be current faculty, student, or staff)
  • Other curators/contributors
  • Faculty sponsor (may be applicant)
  • Working title for your proposed MRC

Nice to know:

  • Is there a librarian you would like to work with?
  • Brief description of subject/focus of your proposed Model Research Collection (MRC)
  • List some examples of sources that could be used to identify books/resources for your proposed MRC (e.g. syllabi, bibliography of a key text)
  • List a few examples of books or other resources to be highlighted in your proposed MRC
  • Have you imagined any of the visual aspects of your MRC? If so, please describe below how your MRC could engage the Bass Library MRC display area (or attach an image).
  • Attach an image or sketch that conveys how your proposed MRC could engage the Bass Library MRC display area. 
  • Attach an image that could represent your proposed MRC on a postcard or bookmark.
  • Do you know if the proposed image has any copyright restrictions? If so, what are they? 
  • Please list any ideas you have for events related to your proposed MRC.

Submit your MRC proposal 

Note: Proposals are now closed.

MRC Selection Committee

Members of the committee include the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources, subject-expert librarians, and selected other members of the Yale Library professional staff. The committee is chaired by Katy Webb, Director of Yale Library Access Services and Bass Library.

How to apply

The Bass Library welcomes proposals from the Yale community to create a Model Research Collection. As part of the Yale Library's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, we hope to see proposals that address these important issues. Proposals are now closed. Contact Katy Webb with questions. 

Purpose: Through its space, collections, and services, Bass Library seeks to spark intellectual inquiry by encouraging students to ask questions and to explore the full universe of Yale Library resources in the search for answers. In support of this goal, the Bass Library Model Research Collection (MRC) is a small-scale research collection designed to model breadth and depth in a specific subject area. Prominently displayed on the courtyard level, the MRC is developed and curated annually by faculty, students, or other members of the campus community in partnership with librarians on a topic or subject proposed by the curator(s). Read the Yale News story about the opening event in October 2019.

Eligibility: Current faculty, students, and staff are welcome to apply. Each proposal requires a faculty member committed to actively working in an advisory capacity, if a faculty member is not the project lead. Applications can be submitted by an individual or a group, such as a cultural center or affinity group. Each application must designate one person as the project lead and main contact. A librarian advisor – one of the many subject specialists at YUL – will be assigned to the selected project if one is not included in the proposal.

Application requirements: Only a few fields are required to submit a proposal. The library strongly encourages applicants to fill out as many fields as possible to give a clear idea of the proposed project.

Criteria: A committee of librarians and other Yale Library professional staff will evaluate proposals on

  • clear and compelling description of the MRC’s focus
  • relevance and potential broad interest of MRC’s focus
  • ability to feature the breadth and depth of the library’s resources
  • feasibility of proposed project within timeframe
  • potential budget implications

Finalists will be invited to meet (in person or virtually) with the selection committee to discuss their proposal.

What does the curation process require?

·        Library meets with curator to go over process and timeline. At this meeting, curator outlines the basic concept of the MRC and describes any already identified resources by February.

·        Library researches additional resources and works with curator to create a working list of what will be on the shelves of the MRC. Iterative process February – May

·        Curator identifies images to be used for publicity purposes; collaborates with the library to locate high resolution copies and resolve copyright concerns. Deadline late March.

·         Curator writes text to be used for promotional materials: MRC title and description of collection (200-250 words). Deadline March.

·        Library and curator work with designer to incorporate images and text into the visual identity of the MRC. April.

·       Library creates a new page on the MRC web page (LibGuide) for this year’s concept; incorporates feedback from the curator. April and May.

·        Curator identifies a minimum of 10 books to be featured and writes accompanying 60-75 word textual descriptions. Deadline April.

·       Curator reviews and approves all graphic elements, including but not limited to, postcard, bookmark, posters, LibGuide, labels for featured titles. Deadline May.

·        Library orders and processes new copies of featured titles to be non-circulating display copies--May.

·        Curator works with the chosen or assigned librarian liaison(s) to identify a minimum of 600 print titles to be displayed on the MRC shelving in the Bass Library. Deadline May.

·        Library gathers selected titles from across the YUL and prepares for display. May to August

·        Curator and library collaborate to develop programming of one event per semester. Examples include, but are not limited to, a book talk, panel discussion, interview with MRC curator. Deadline July


Note: Additional tasks may be determined based on the needs of the individual proposal and by mutual agreement between the curator and the library.