Beginning Monday, November 30, 2020 special collections units will be closed for onsite research. Special Collections staff remain available to assist and answer any questions about their collections. Please see the email information to contact specific special collection units below. More information about Library policies and plans during this time, please see Library's covid-19 update page for current information.
Welcome! The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to the wealth of special collections available for research at the Yale University Library (YUL) and the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA). In it you'll learn about...
The Primary Sources at Yale site provides additional information that will help you identify, find, and explore primary sources in all of Yale's libraries and museums.
There is no single, comprehensive definition of special collections, but at Yale, all special collections share a few common characteristics:
Similarly, there is no single definition of the types of materials that determine what special collections are. At Yale, special collections may consist of (but are not necessarily limited to) any or all of the following types of materials:
At Yale, special collections are held by several of our libraries and museums. Some, like Manuscripts and Archives and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, only hold special collection materials. Others, like the Yale Center for British Art, hold special collections and museum collections, which are managed separately. Still others, like the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, hold special collections along with more conventional, circulating library materials.
Arts Library Special Collections, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
Divinity Special Collections, Divinity School Library
Manuscripts and Archives, Sterling Memorial Library
Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library
Music Library Special Collections, Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Sterling Memorial Library
Yale Center for British Art Institutional Archives, Yale Center for British Art
Yale Center for British Art, Department of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art
Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Yale Center for British Art
See the Additional Collections at Yale tab on this guide for information regarding other Yale University special collections that do not share the Aeon registration/request system.