Sterling Memorial Library


Physical location is 120 High Street.

Mail to Yale University - Sterling Memorial Library c/o Barry McMurtrey
130 Wall St.
New Haven, CT 06511-1918

In the heart of central campus,  Sterling Memorial Library is Yale’s largest library and one of the University’s most iconic buildings.  Completed in 1930, it houses more than 2.5 million volumes, with a focus on humanities and area studies, on 14 floors of book stacks.  Designed by architect James Gamble Rogers (Yale Class of 1889) and later named for its benefactor, John William Sterling (Yale Class of 1864), the library is built in the Collegiate Gothic style to resemble a European cathedral. The main entrance, known as the Nave, has a 60-foot ceiling, cloisters, clerestory windows, side chapels, and a circulation desk altar.  Stained glass windows throughout the building3,300 in allwere designed by artist G. Owen Bonawit.  In addition to reading rooms and library departments, Sterling encompasses Gilmore Music Library, Manuscripts and Archives, the Franke Family Digital Humanities Lab, the Yale Film Archive, the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Hanke Exhibition Gallery.

What's Available: 

Outdoor Space
Public Computer
Natural Light
Individual Tables
Large Tables
Individual Study Rooms
Group Study Rooms
Chalk Board/White Board
Absolute Quiet
Eli Express Delivery Location
Electrical Outlets
Conversation Allowed


Location Phone Email
Babylonian Collection Rooms 318 - 327 203-432-1837
Benjamin Franklin Collection & Papers Rooms 230 - 232 203-432-1814


An accessible entrance faces Cross Campus. Please ring doorbell for assistance. An elevator is located straight back from the main entrance. Men's and women's accessible bathrooms are on the ground floor in the Music Library and downstairs in the Wright Reading Room.


A valid Yale ID with activated swipe access is required for entry after 6 pm. 


From the New Haven Green or Phelps Gate on Old Campus, take College Street north to Elm Street. Make a left onto Elm Street. Go past Hopper College and Berkeley College (on your right). At High Street, turn right and follow the cement pathway.  The Women's Table sculpture on your right and Sterling Memorial Library will be to the left.