Divinity Library Special Collections

Information for Researchers


The Divinity Library Special Collections reading room is open Monday to Friday (excluding Yale holidays) from 9:00am to 4:30pm. The Yale Divinity Library, including the special collections reading room, is currently open to current Yale graduate and professional students, staff, and faculty (including emeriti) who are authorized to be on campus and in the Quad. Divinity Library Special Collections regrets that we cannot admit or serve Yale alumni/ae, affiliates, or the general public at this time.

To be admitted to the Yale Divinity Library, Yale students must first be admitted to the Yale Divinity Quadrangle.  Before seeking admission to the Quad, patrons should be in compliance with the Yale Community Compact. See https://registrar.yale.edu/compact. For admission to the Quad, Yale students should contact Kathy Antos, Yale Divinity School’s Health & Safety Leader (katherine.antos@yale.edu). She will reach out to Health & Safety leaders for confirmation of compliance.   

All visits to the special collections reading room must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance via the scheduling form (https://schedule.yale.edu/reserve/divinityresearch). In addition to scheduling your appointment, you must also request the materials you wish to see via request links in Orbis (https://orbis.library.yale.edu/vwebv/searchBasic), our online catalog, or Archives at Yale (https://archives.yale.edu/). Collection materials must be requested 2 days before your scheduled visit.

Be aware that all patrons and staff members in Yale University Library spaces must wear masks and practice safe (6’) social distancing at all times. If you require any assistance, library staff are available to help via divinity.specialcoll@yale.edu. Please monitor Yale University’s COVID 19 response page (https://covid19.yale.edu/health-safety-guidelines) and the Library’s COVID-19 update page (https://web.library.yale.edu/news/2020/03/updates-covid-19-yale-library-online) for more information.

The Divinity Special Collections Reading Room is located in the Divinity Library, on the lower level. Upon entering, follow the hallway to the right. Take a left at the scanners, then the stairwell on the right down one floor. The reading room is on the right at the bottom of the stairs. Alternately, there is an elevator available down the hall on the right as you enter the library. Take the elevator down one floor. Take the hallway right, then turn left to get to the reading room.

Watch this site for updates regarding Divinity Library services for the month of January 2021 and Yale University's Spring term.

The Special Collections Reading Room is located on the ground floor of the Divinity Library. If you have questions about access, please call (203) 432-5301 or email divinity.library@yale.edu.  See the Library's Planning Your Research Visit page for directions, parking information, and lodging possibilities.

Requests for material should be made through Archives at Yale for archival material and Orbis for restricted circulation published materials and microforms.  It is important to note that most collections are stored at an off-campus shelving facility so if you wish to examine material from these collections in the Special Collections Reading Room on the day of your arrival at the Divinity Library, you must submit your request in advance. You will receive an email message when the materials are available.

All researchers must agree to the terms governing use of the Divinity Library's Special Collections.

Please address reference inquiries to divinity.library@yale.edu.

We encourage researchers to visit the Divinity Library in person in order to take advantage of its valuable complementary collections but recognize that in-person visits may not be possible for all. We are willing to respond to remote requests for information and for copies of materials according to our stated reproduction policies.

The following are possible options to explore in order to locate a research assistant for hire. You will need to be able to describe your research needs succinctly in order to utilize any of these services. Be sure to include any special research skills required, such as languages.

  • A message sent to divinity.library@yale.edu can be forwarded to the Yale Divinity School’s student email listserv.
  • The McDougal Graduate Student Center within Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences maintains e-mail contact with all Yale graduate and professional students. You may contact the McDougal Graduate Student Center by email at at mcdougal.center@yale.edu or by telephone at (203) 432-2583, to advertise employment of a research assistant
  • Yale history students are sometimes interested in temporary employment. You may contact the Department of History by telephone at (203) 432-1366 or by writing to P.O. Box 208324, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8324.
Last modified: 
Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 2:46pm