Special Collections at the Yale Divinity School Library include nearly 5000 linear feet of archival and manuscript material, as well as archivally-treated pamphlet collections, and extensive microfilm and microfiche holdings. The collections include personal and organizational papers, reports, pamphlets, and ephemera related to various aspects of religious history. Particular strengths of the collection are its documentation of the Protestant missionary endeavor, religious work among college and university students, and records related to American clergy and evangelists. While the Divinity Library collection includes personal papers of numerous faculty members and a collection of memorabilia and publications related to life at Yale Divinity School, the official archives of the Divinity School are deposited in the Yale University Archives.
There are online finding aids that describe all original format archival collections. These finding aids can be searched as a whole via the Yale Finding Aid Database. Browseable lists of Divinity Library special collections are also available for Personal papers, Archives of organizations, and pamphlet and unpublished papers collections. These lists include microform collections as well as original format collections and therefore point to collections not listed in the Finding Aid Database. Brief descriptions of the collections are provided, with links to available online finding aids. A rudimentary geographical index index is provided, but researchers are encouraged to utilize keyword searching as well as consult with the Special Collections Librarian in order to identify relevant materials.
Special Collections at the Divinity Library form part of the Day Missions Library, North America's preeminent collection documenting the missionary movement and world Christianity. Many of the missionary papers held by the Divinity Library were acquired in connection with the China Records Project. The Divinity Library also has a notable collection of Missionary Bibles.
The Special Collections department also provides access to the Divinity Library’s Restricted Circulation collection. Restricted Circulation materials are described in the Orbis catalog and include rare books and pamphlets as well as Divinity School faculty writings. All Restricted Circulation materials must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room on the ground floor of the library.