Arts Library Special Collections

Sample page with color blocks.

Faber Birren (1900-1988) was a leading authority on the effects of color on humans as well as a dedicated collector of texts on color. The Birren Collection is particularly strong in color systems, color standards, and color nomenclature. Color theory, artists' manuals and treatises, and color techniques are also well represented. In addition, the collection has materials on vision, psychology, printing and the graphic arts, textiles, music, religion, biology, medicine, heraldry, and the occult and ranges from the 16th century to the contemporary.

Close up from a plate in Principles of the science of colour, 1868

Close up from a plate in Principles of the science of colour, 1868

The Arts Library Special Collections holds the Faber Birren Collection - a collection of books and ephemera relating to color and spanning several centuries. 

Policies Regarding Reproduction of Materials

The Haas Family Arts Library Special Collections (ALSC) will reproduce collection materials, in compliance with donor stipulations and with the fair use clause of the United States copyright law, when such reproduction can be done without injury to collection materials. Please note that the Library's sale of a reproduction does not imply an authorization to publish it. The reader is responsible for obtaining any necessary permission from the owners of a work’s copyright in order to publish texts and facsimiles. Our policy prohibits reproduction of an entire collection.

Explore the Arts Library Special Collections

The Arts Library Special Collections (ALSC) are composed of materials from the former Art+Architecture and Drama libraries, as well as the Arts of the Book Collection. ALSC holdings include contemporary catalogues raisonnés18th- and 19th-century works on artists and architecture, a broad selection of fine press and artists’ books, rare research materials in support of these subject areas, and the FaberBirren Collection of Books on Color.

In addition, ALSC has manuscript and archival holdings in book arts, art history, and drama. Theatrical production is docu­mented through photographs, production books, scrapbooks, and ephemera. The Yale Bookplate Collection contains ex-libris prints and process materials, such as original sketches, plates, and woodblocks. The Arts of the Book Collection maintains archives of Fritz Eichenberg, Fritz Kredel, Richard Minsky, Carl P. Rollins, and many smaller collections about the book arts.

ALSC showcases its collections in the William H. Wright Special Collections Exhibition Area on the lower level of the Haas Family Arts Library. ALSC collections, exhibitions, and related programs are free and open to the public.

Research Inquiries

The staff at Arts Library Special Collections can assist you with your research in a number of ways. If you have a general question in the arts, one of these subject specialists may also be able to assist you.  Librarians are trained to assist researchers to find materials of interest and to teach researchers the skills needed to find desired materials on their own.

Off-Site Material Request Form

Use this form to request off site materials for viewing in the Arts Library Special Collections (ALSC) Reading Room. Requests must be placed at least 2 business days before desired viewing time. Consult the Special Collections Access Page for our current hours.

Up to five items may be requested at a time. Fill out the title and call number for each item. We will place your order the day it is received. However, if the information provided is not complete, we may not be able to place the order the same day. If requesting materials from an archival collection, please give the box number as well as the call number for the collection.

All off site materials must have a written request either by using this form or filling out the form in person in ALSC. Telephone requests will not be accepted. This form can also be used to request on site materials in advance.

Please include both the call number and the box number for archival collections, for example: AOB 9 Box 3.

 TitleCall # and Box #
Item 1
Item 2
Item 3
Item 4
Item 5

MFA Thesis Request Form

Use this form to request Drama, Photography, and Graphic Design theses for viewing in the Arts Library Special Collections (ALSC) Reading Room. Requests must be placed at least 2 business days before desired viewing time. Up to five items may be requested at a time. You will be contacted by email when the materials are ready to view. Consult the Special Collections Access Page for our current hours. Links to the finding aids are provided below for your convenience:

Graphic Design MFA Theses | Photography MFA Theses | School of Drama Casebook Collection (PDF) | School of Drama Production Script Collection (PDF)

Return to Arts Library Special Collections Access

Click the button next to the collection from which you are requesting materials. Supply the box number and description (name or title) for each item in the provided space. Consult the finding aids (above) for each collection to see what is available and determine box numbers.
Subscribe to RSS - Arts Library Special Collections