Planning Your Research Visit
During the academic term, the Divinity Library is normally open seven days a week (8:30 a.m. to 10:50 pm on Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:50 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2:00 pm - 10:50 pm on Sunday). During the summer and semester breaks, the Library is open weekdays from 8:30 am to 4:50 pm. The Special Collections reading room is open only weekdays, 9:00 am to 4:50 pm. See the hours page for information about holiday and break closings.
During non-business hours (i.e., weekdays after 6:30 pm and weekends) entry into the Divinity School building, and hence the library, requires card-swipe access with a Yale ID. The ID cards of students, faculty and staff of the Divinity School are automatically set up for access into the building. However, other Yale students, faculty, and staff do not have automatic access into the building on evenings and weekends with their Yale ID cards. Access for Yale affiliates who need to use the library for research purposes may be requested by contacting the Divinity Librarian.
Patrons wishing to return books to the library after normal business hours may use the bookdrop, located across from the main entrance to the Divinity School building, near the parking lot entrance.
The Yale Divinity Library, as part of the Yale University Library system, has been developed primarily as a working and research collection for the faculty, students, and staff of Yale University. Those not affiliated with the University are expected to investigate resources in libraries normally available to them before turning to the Yale University Library.
Visitors not affiliated with Yale University are required to sign into the Divinity Library Guestbook, located next to the Circulation Desk.
See the Borrowing Guide for information about library privileges for various categories of individuals. In addition to the statuses listed in the Borrowing Guide, the Divinity Library also provides limited privileges to a) Supervising Pastors annually certified by the Divinity School's Field Education Office; b) Researchers who are in residence for an extended period at the Overseas Ministries Study Center; c) Members of churches which have membership in the Ministry Resource Center. See below for more information.
Access to the Divinity Library's Special Collections is normally granted to all qualified undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members, independent scholars, and authors from both within and outside Yale. Family members of those who have donated their personal papers are welcome to use family papers. Most of our collections are shelved offsite and must be retrieved for use. Please see the Special Collections website for more information.
Library access and/or borrowing privileges may be revoked for violation of library policies and at the discretion of the Divinity Librarian.
Directions and parking
The Divinity Library is located within the Divinity School building, at 409 Prospect Street, slightly less than one mile from central campus. The main entrance to the Divinity School, marked by a portico, is along the north driveway up from Prospect Street, past the stairs that lead into the quadrangle. Once inside the main entrance of the Divinity School, bear left and follow the interior corridor around to the library entrance.
The Yale Shuttle Blue Line stops right at the Divinity School. The Red Line stop is across the street near Division Street. Go to Shuttle Services for more information on the Yale Shuttle. You can also see the current location of the shuttle by going to Yale Shuttle Vehicle Locator.
Driving directions from outside New Haven:
From I-91: Take Exit 6, Willow Street. Turn right on Willow and follow to its end. Turn right on Whitney Avenue and immediately left on Canner Street. Proceed to the top of the hill. Turn left on Prospect Street. The Divinity School campus is located about 1/2 block up the street, on the left.
From Wilbur Cross Parkway (Rt. 15): Take Exit 61 and go south on Whitney Avenue for several miles. Turn right on Canner Street. Proceed to the top of the hill. Turn left on Prospect Street. The Divinity School campus is located about 1/2 block up the street, on the left.
Parking: Free on-street parking is available on Canner Street, on Prospect Street north of Division Street, and on Division Street. (Watch signs for occasional parking bans.) There are some visitor parking slots along the main driveway up from Prospect Street; to park in one of the visitor parking spaces, you will need to get a guest parking pass from the reception desk at the main entrance.
Link to a map showing how to reach the Divinity School.
In addition to the hotels listed on the Visit New Haven site, these are some additional lodging possibilities convenient to the Yale Divinity Library:
Yale Divinity School Guest Cottages
When available, the guest cottages at YDS can be rented by people who are doing research at the Divinity Library. The cottages have one single bed, microwave, and small refrigerator. Contact the Special Collections Librarian to inquire about availability.
Overseas Ministries Study Center
The Overseas Ministry Study Center (OMSC) is located at 490 Prospect Street, one block from Yale Divinity School. Guest rooms are sometimes available to those outside of OMSC's study program, with priority given to those who are engaged in research related to mission and the world church. There is a minimum 3-night stay required, with payment in full upon arrival. Guests residing at OMSC for 4 weeks or more are required to show proof of medical insurance coverage. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 203-624-6672.
Bed & Breakfasts
Farnum Guest House
The Farnum Guest House is within five minutes walk of Yale Divinity School. Reservations may be made by calling toll free: (888) 562-7121, or locally in Connecticut: (203) 562-7121, or by email to email@example.com.
Piazza Santo Ronan
Bed and Breakfast located just behind the Divinity School complex at 216 Saint Ronan Street. Innkeeper: Linda McNeff (203) 776-9944
Tips for Using the Library
The Yale Divinity Library has open stacks and visitors are welcome to browse the on-site collection. More than half of the Divinity Library's print volumes, as well as the majority of its archival collections, are shelved off-site at the Yale University Library Shelving Facility (LSF). These materials, as well as circulating items held at other Yale libraries, can be retrieved for use in the Divinity Library. It is therefore important that researchers begin their searches for material online, using the Orbis catalog and Yale Finding Aid Database, rather than relying on on-site browsing.
In Orbis, use the "Request recall or delivery" link to initiate retrieval of items from LSF or other Yale Libraries. A valid Yale NetID or Visitor Card is required to place a request. If you do not have a valid ID, ask the Circulation Manager or email the library at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Items marked "non-circulating" may be requested but must be used in the library's Special Collections reading room. Individuals without retrieval privileges may ask the Special Collection staff to retrieve and hold materials for use.
Researchers who are coming to New Haven for a brief period of time are urged to submit requests for books and archival resources beforehand, to allow time for the materials to be paged to the Divinity Library. As a general rule, it will take one working day for materials to be paged from the Library Shelving Facility or from other libraries on campus. Feel free to submit reference inquiries to the Divinity Library email address (email@example.com ) as well; the Divinity Library staff may be able to recommend additional resources for your research.
Special categories of users at the Divinity Library
Supervising Pastors annually certified by the Divinity School's Field Education Office may apply for a Yale University Library borrower's card at the Privileges Office at Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High Street, open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 4:45pm, Saturday 10-4:45 pm.
Access: The Divinity Library is open for access during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30 pm.) To request evening and weekend hour access, contact Suzanne Estelle-Holmer, Associate Director for Collections, Research and Access and Interim Director.
The loan period is two (2) months for the Divinity Library (it may be different for other Yale libraries).
Overseas Ministries Study Center researchers who are in residence for an extended period may request a letter from the OMSC to obtain a Divinity Library borrower's card. Upon presentation of that letter to the Divinity Library Circulation Manager, they will be issued a card without charge. This is the only borrower's card issued by the Divinity Library. OMSC residents are entitled to check out books that are “owned” by the Divinity Library, whether onsite or at the Library Shelving Facility. If OMSC residents wish to use books or periodicals that are shelved at the Library Shelving Facility (LSF) or circulating items held in other Yale libraries, they should submit their requests to the Special Collections Librarian: firstname.lastname@example.org. Divinity Library books can be checked out but non-Divinity books will be available for use only within the Library, in the Special Collections Reading Room.
Access: The Divinity Library is open for access to OMSC researchers during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30 pm.)
Loan period: 2 months for the Divinity Library. Not available for use at other Yale libraries.
Ministry Resource Center members: Members of churches that have Ministry Resource Center membership may borrow items from the Ministry Resource Center only at no charge.
Loan period: MRC Videos and DVDs: 8 days; Other Ministry Resource Center materials: 3 weeks
Access: Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30 pm. The Ministry Resource Center is open for browsing during these hours, but is staffed only from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Clergy of Ministry Resource Center member churches may also purchase Divinity Library borrowing privileges.
Cost: $120 for one year.
Loan period: Divinity library materials: 2 months; Ministry Resource Center videos and DVDs: 8 days; Other Ministry Resource Center materials: 3 weeks.
Access: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm.