August 2014 Archives

On Monday, August 25, 2014, the magnificent entrance nave in Sterling Memorial Library (SML) reopens to the public, marking the completion of a major restoration project that has returned the nave to its original splendor and brought about improvements that will better serve the needs of library users in the twenty-first century. The restoration was made possible thanks to a generous gift from Richard Gilder ’54 and Lois Chiles, who made their gift in honor of President Emeritus Richard C. Levin ’74 PH.D. and Jane A. Levin ’75 PH.D. Susan Gibbons, University Librarian commented, “We are enormously grateful to Richard Gilder and Lois Chiles for realizing this spectacular restoration, which has returned a cherished landmark to its original beauty and made our library more efficient, intuitive and welcoming. This is a historic day for all those who love and use this magnificent place.” The centrality of SML on the Yale campus was the intent of architect James Gamble Rogers B.A. 1889. In designing the building, Rogers incorporated the Collegiate Gothic style that was prevalent on campuses throughout the United States, announcing that Yale, and its library, were world-class institutions that could rival Oxford and Cambridge, even if Yale was younger by several centuries. The windows of the nave, designed by G. Owen Bonawit, reinforced this message by illustrating important events from the history of Yale and of New Haven. But even though its design was gothic, SML opened in 1930 as a modern library that catered to the needs of Yale’s faculty and students. Banks of card catalogs filled the entire south aisle of the nave. The circulation desk, often mistaken for an altar by generations of visitors, stopped anyone from entering the bookstacks at a time when they were closed to everyone except library staff. Small “confessionals” near the High Street entrance to SML served as telephone booths. In the eighty-four years since SML first opened its doors, however, much has changed. Computer workstations and other technologies are ubiquitous and provide the means not only to look up the location of library materials, but also to access a rapidly expanding universe of electronic content. The book stacks have been open to members of the Yale community for many years now – the circulation desk no longer needs to serve as a barrier. These and other concerns underscored the planning for the nave restoration, which started in the summer of 2011 with meetings of librarians, faculty members, university planners, students, and administrators. In the fall of that year, the university selected Helpern Architects in New York to lead the restoration. The challenge was to restore the nave in keeping with its 1930 design, while at the same time modernizing the space in a manner that would incorporate services and technologies to better serve library users. “The restoration has shown that the Nave is even more beautiful than we imagined it,” said Architect, David Helpern. “What surprised us is how easily the Nave and its peripheral spaces could be adapted to new uses – but integrating all the 21st-century technology? That was a challenge! We think that James Gamble Rogers would be pleased.” After the planning process was completed, construction got underway in June, 2013, led by Turner Construction Company. Because the nave serves as the primary route to several of the reading rooms and collections in SML, it was essential that part of the nave remained open to library users throughout construction. To make this possible, an enclosed pedestrian tunnel was constructed that connected the High Street entrance with all the other areas on the first floor of SML. Around and above the pedestrian tunnel, scaffolding was erected that completely filled the nave from floor to ceiling. With the scaffolding in place, workers were able to thoroughly clean all of the stone surfaces, clean and restore the plaster and wood ceilings, clean and repair the stained glass windows, install new lighting and environmental controls, and restore the mural painting of Alma Mater. Because all of this activity was hidden by the pedestrian tunnel, a major “reveal” occurred when the tunnel finally came down in May of this year. The results of the restoration are stunning. The newly cleaned stone highlights the contrast in color and texture between alternating blocks of limestone and sandstone. The washed ceilings, brought into focus with new lighting, are now visible as they never were before. More natural light comes into the nave through the cleaned windows. And Alma Mater again reigns over the space, with all of her plaster carvings restored. In addition, there are numerous enhancements to library services. At the beginning of the project, the nave held three service desks – circulation, information, and library privileges. Now all three have been combined at a single service desk in the north aisle of the nave. Some of the built-in card catalogs, a prominent feature of the original nave, have been removed, while others have been preserved in place. The resulting open space now holds computer workstations and seating areas for conversation and study. The number of self-service options in the nave has increased greatly. Library users can now check out their own library materials, scan both paper materials and microfilms, and retrieve materials that are on hold after delivery from other libraries on campus. The new security desk at High Street incorporates upgraded technologies for the protection of users and library materials. The newly restored nave is not only a summons to scholarship but an inspiration for the entire Yale community. "We all know that the library is the heart of the university,” said Yale University President Peter Salovey. “I am delighted that this beautiful and inspiring campus space has been renovated to provide better access to Yale's world class collections, and to give students and scholars modern space to study and reflect under the watchful eye of the brilliantly restored painting, Alma Mater. I am doubly-pleased that the space was renovated in honor of Jane and Rick Levin." Sterling Memorial Library will be hosting an //">open house on Thursday, September 18th, 3-5pm to celebrate the reopening of the restored nave. Staff will be on hand to give informal tours and refreshments will be served. All are welcome! To see a photographic journey of the nave restoration, click here For further information about the restoration of the Sterling Memorial Library nave, contact Kendall Crilly, Associate University Librarian for Program Development & Research Press and Media, contact Amanda Patrick, Director of Communications 203-432-4484 Yale University Library One of the world's leading research libraries, the Yale University Library fosters intellectual growth and supports the teaching and research missions of the university and scholarly communities worldwide. Its resources include more than 15 million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books, and from digital collections to electronic databases. Sterling Memorial Library Built with funds from the bequest of John W. Sterling B.A. 1864, and designed by architect James Gamble Rogers B.A. 1889, Sterling Memorial Library opened in 1930. In designing the building, Rogers wanted the library to be centrally located on the Yale campus. He chose to incorporate the Collegiate Gothic style that was prevalent on campuses throughout the United States. The architectural elements in the entrance nave are reminiscent of gothic cathedral architecture. The windows of the nave, which were designed by G. Owen Bonawit, illustrate important events from the history of Yale and of New Haven.

Post on August 24, 2014 - 11:43am |

New freshman students will be welcomed to the Library on Wednesday September 10, from 3:30–5pm, at a reception hosted by their personal librarians at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Personal Librarian Program pairs every freshman student with their very own librarian and is designed to introduce students entering Yale College to the collections and services of the Yale University Library. Personal Librarians contact students occasionally throughout the year to let them know about new databases and tools, upcoming tours of collections or research strategies. They also encourage questions about research or the Library in general. Any questions about the program can be directed to Emily Horning, Director of Undergraduate Research Education and Outreach at: or phone 203-432-8211. Personal Librarian website:

Post on August 22, 2014 - 4:08pm |

The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library and the Yale School of Music are honored to welcome Professor Qian Ren Ping, Professor of Music Theory at Shanghai Conservatory and his colleagues to the Yale campus from 10-12th September, 2014. The highlight of the visit will be a lecture on September 11th at 10:00 am in the Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, presented by Professor Qian on "The Art Song Compositions of Huang Tzu” and will include performances of some of his art songs. A reception in the adjacent Memorabilia Room will follow. There will also be an exhibition of his rare manuscripts and related materials that will honor his musical contributions as well as his time as a student of composition of western music here at Yale in 1928. He is attributed with being the first Chinese composer to write a large-scale orchestral work, his overture In Memoriam. The exhibit will be on view in the Gilmore Music Library. More details can be found at: //">

Post on August 20, 2014 - 3:12pm |

The nave restoration is now in its final stages and the library staff is preparing to move into its new spaces next week. As a result, Circulation, Information and Privileges services will be unavailable in Sterling Memorial Library from Thursday August 21 to Saturday August 23, as services and equipment are relocated to the restored nave. During this timeframe, readers will be able to pick up materials from the SML self-serve hold shelf and use the self-check machines located in the Franke Reading Room to check out library materials. In addition, the Bass Library circulation desk will be open as usual. Please note that the staff in Bass will not be able to issue new visitor privileges cards, but will continue to assist with all circulation, information and existing library account needs. Full services in Sterling Memorial Library will resume in the restored nave on Monday, August 25th. Any questions should be directed to the Bass Circulation Desk at 203-432-1874 or email

Post on August 14, 2014 - 11:38am |

August 13, 2014

Did you know that Yale Library provides access to a number of Cambridge History of Music volumes from American Music to World Music. Here's a listing of all of them.

The Cambridge History of American Music
The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music
The Cambridge History of Musical Performance
The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Music
The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music
The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Music
The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory
The Cambridge History of World Music

Post on August 13, 2014 - 1:33pm |

The Windham Campbell Prizes Literary Festival celebrates the work of the 2014 winners of the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes, annual awards that honor literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns. The eight prizewinners will participate in a broad range of public events, such as master classes, talks, and master's teas. The festival kicks off Sept. 15 with a keynote by novelist Zadie Smith. See the full schedule at:

Post on August 11, 2014 - 11:43am |

Monday, August 18th at 2:00 pm SML International Room Librarians work with human subjects on a daily basis as they try and understand the needs of our communities. They also field questions from faculty about how they should proceed with research that involves human subjects. Please join us for a SCOPA forum presented by Jean Larson, the Education & Community Outreach Manager for the Human Research Protection Program, and Sarah Ryan, the Empirical Research Librarian at the Law School and veteran of the IRB process at multiple institutions, that will cover the basics of working with human subjects.

Post on August 11, 2014 - 11:40am |