Student Research at the Yale University Library

March 11, 2016

This semester, the Sterling Memorial Library Exhibits Corridor features the research of four exceptional Yale students in an exhibit entitled "Student Research at Yale University Library". The selected individuals have made impressive use of the diverse resources available at the library.

David McCullough’s research follows the expeditions of Othniel Charles Marsh, Yale’s first professor of paleontology.  McCullough, a senior at Davenport College, made considerable use of the Othniel Charles Marsh Papers throughout his research process.  Held in the Yale Library’s Manuscripts and Archives, the Papers include Marsh’s correspondences, journals, and scientific notes.  

Mary Jones’s research focuses on the career of record executive Goddard Lieberson, specifically during the 1940s and 50s.  Her display, which features a series of letters exchanged between Lieberson and orchestral conductor Eugene Ormandy, reveals the strong connection between the midcentury recording and performing worlds.  Jones, a PhD candidate in Music History, has made extensive use of the Goddard Lieberson Papers, available through the Yale Library’s Manuscripts and Archives.

Eve Houghton, a junior at Davenport College, highlights excerpts from three annotated books available at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  Over many years, the volumes’ margins had been annotated by generations of diverse readers, including 19th century Yale undergraduates.  Houghton explores how annotations reveal readers’ emotions and reactions to the texts. Throughout her project, Houghton relied on the Beinecke’s Osborn Collection, which includes a considerable number of early modern annotated books.

The research of John D’Amico, a recent Davenport College graduate, explores how the construction of canals in Japan impacted the development of towns.  He focuses on the Dotonbori canal and its effects on Osaka. Among the many library resources that contributed to D’Amico’s research, the Yale Library’s subscription to every major Japanese newspaper’s backlog proved particularly helpful. 

The Student Research exhibit not only displays the results of the students’ research, but also describes the librarians and resources that particularly impacted the individual projects.  Yale librarians worked closely with these students, providing them with everything from research guidance to life advice.  By revealing the processes of these unique and diverse projects, the exhibit emphasizes the enormity and accessibility of the Yale University Library’s collections.

Written by Hilary Purrington