The Beinecke Reopens after Yearlong Renovation

August 1, 2016

Following a yearlong major renovation to update the library’s mechanical systems and to provide enhanced facilities for supporting research and teaching, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library will reopen to the public on Tuesday, September 6th.

In addition to major upgrades to the library’s physical, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and security infrastructure, the building’s heating and air conditioning systems were also replaced. Bronze and marble features were refurbished on the interior and exterior of the building, and the Noguchi Sculpture Garden was restored. To enhance teaching while using the collections, two new classrooms have been added, and state of the art technology has been installed in the classrooms and teaching spaces. 

A public open house will be held on Saturday, October 8th, to offer the New Haven community a chance to see the space up close.  

Two semester-long exhibitions open on September 23rd. Recent Acquisitions features materials procured in the last three to four years, including photographs of Abraham Lincoln from the Meserve-Kunhardt collection; a 13th-century manuscript book of the Gospels; an archive of 19th-century photographs of a multi-generational African-American family from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada; and papers from various activists, authors, poets, and dramatists. Destined to be Known: The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at 75 celebrates the anniversary of the James Weldon Johnson Collection at Yale and features key African-American figures from the Beinecke’s collections. Highlights include manuscripts by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, artwork by Augusta Savage and Roy DeCarava, the only manuscript known to have been written by a fugitive slave, and selections documenting the life of James Weldon Johnson.