Honorary Degree recipients at Yale, 1959, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

All Yale libraries are closed on Monday, Jan. 18, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Day. Please visit the library's online exhibit, The Kings at Yale, which draws on materials from Manuscripts and Archives to document visits to Yale by Dr. King and Coretta Scott King. 

Dr. King in regalia with President Bewster

Sterling Library’s annual exhibition commemorating visits to Yale by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1959 and 1964) and Coretta Scott King (1969) has been recreated as a new online exhibit, open to all. The civil rights leader was invited to Yale in 1959 by an undergraduate lecture committee and spoke on “The Future of Integration.” He returned to Yale in 1964 to receive an honorary degree, just two days after being released on bail from the St. Augustine, Fla., jail. He had been arrested for ordering food in a whites-only motel. The online exhibit documents the award ceremony and reactions—both positive and negative—from across the country. Coretta Scott King was named the first Frances Blanshard Fellow at Yale in 1969. While on campus she met with women graduate students and spoke to a standing room only crowd in Woolsey Hall on the importance of campus unrest in addressing social injustices. The historical materials in the exhibit are drawn from Yale Library’s Manuscripts and Archives department.  View “The Kings at Yale” online.

COVID-19 Library Updates graphic

January 11 Sterling Memorial Library, including contactless pickup in the nave, is currently open to graduate students, professional students, and faculty (including emeriti), who are authorized to be on campus. Other library locations and special collections reading rooms will open to the same groups on Jan. 12.  See the Library Reopening FAQ for location-specific details.

At this time, in compliance with the University's COVID-19 guidelines, we are unable to  extend access to other patron groups, including retired staff and faculty without emeritus status, alumni, family members, other Yale affiliates, and general public. We regret any inconvenience, and we look forward to welcoming our extended community when public health conditions improve. Please contact Ask Yale Library if you have questions about your status to access the library.

Hours, including for contactless pickup, may change on short notice due to COVID-19. Check library hours before coming to campus.  Library staff continue to provide research consultations, workshops, library instruction, and access to electronic resources online. Current students, faculty, and staff may request to have library materials, including BorrowDirect materials and interlibrary loans, scanned or mailed to U.S. addresses.