August 2016 Archives

August 1, 2016

When Yale President Peter Salovey and Provost Ben Polak recently announced the reappointment of Susan Gibbons as university librarian and deputy provost, they called her a “consummate university citizen” whose leadership has elevated the university’s reputation on the national and international stages. As part of her reappointment, Gibbons is taking on new responsibilities as deputy provost for collections and scholarly communication to support the university’s museums, galleries, and other collections. She spoke with YaleNews about her new responsibilities and her plans for the library over the next five years. Read more.

Post on August 1, 2016 - 1:27pm |

August 1, 2016

This coming spring, Manuscripts and Archives (MSSA), an important special collections repository within Sterling Memorial Library, will receive its first major renovation. The department houses over 85,000 linear feet (more than 16 miles) of archival material, incorporating the University Archives as well as strong collections in international affairs, contemporary architecture, and LGBT studies, among other areas. Researchers make use of MSSA collections—and the staff who provide access to them—heavily: in 2014-2015, MSSA staff received 6,500 reference inquiries and provided patrons with 55,000 pages of PDF digital reproductions.

The renovation of Manuscripts and Archives will revitalize a beautiful space within Sterling Memorial Library, provide for better stewardship of materials through environmental control and security upgrades, and enhance the researcher experience with improved lighting, reduced noise, and improved consultation space. The project will also transform the former Gutenberg Chapel, originally the purpose-built home in Sterling Memorial Library for Yale’s Gutenberg Bible, into a secure classroom to meet increasing faculty demand for teaching with Manuscripts and Archives collections. The non-functional stone fireplace in the future classroom will be lifted to create a door into the Linonia & Brothers Reading Room (L&B)

This important renovation will require significant investment from Yale alumni and friends, and fundraising is just beginning now. To learn more, please speak with Basie Bales Gitlin, Director of Development for Yale University Library, at (203) 432-9851 or

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August 1, 2016

Yale scholars are increasingly interested in working with the vast quantities of historical, literary, artistic, and musical material that have been digitized in recent years. Quantitative and algorithmic approaches to this “Humanistic Big Data” are promising, but humanists first want to understand the conceptual frameworks and computational tools of these new ways of conducting research. Yale University Library’s Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLab), founded in 2015 through a grant from The Goizueta Foundation, fosters this important work.

The DHLab, currently operating in temporary quarters on the third floor of Sterling Memorial Library (SML), will soon have a permanent home thanks to the great generosity of University Library Council members Richard ’53 and Barbara Franke. Their gift will renovate a familiar space, the Franke Family Reading Room, named in their honor in 1998. Supporting teaching and research, the freshly furnished DHLab will be a state-of-the-art facility that uses computational approaches to create new entry points into Yale University Library’s remarkable physical and digital collections.

The creation of this new facility dovetails with other major renovations—and temporary relocations—across the library. During the past academic year, the Franke Room has served Beinecke readers while the landmark 1963 building has undergone renovations. In 2016–2017, the Franke Room will provide temporary quarters for Manuscripts and Archives researchers while that department’s space in SML is under construction. By 2018, the final refurbishing will take place, equipping the Franke Family Reading Room to house the DHLab and encourage hybrid scholarship at Yale permanently.

Post on August 1, 2016 - 1:59pm |

August 1, 2016

Following a yearlong major renovation to update the library’s mechanical systems and to provide enhanced facilities for supporting research and teaching, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library will reopen to the public on Tuesday, September 6th.

In addition to major upgrades to the library’s physical, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and security infrastructure, the building’s heating and air conditioning systems were also replaced. Bronze and marble features were refurbished on the interior and exterior of the building, and the Noguchi Sculpture Garden was restored. To enhance teaching while using the collections, two new classrooms have been added, and state of the art technology has been installed in the classrooms and teaching spaces. 

A public open house will be held on Saturday, October 8th, to offer the New Haven community a chance to see the space up close.  

Two semester-long exhibitions open on September 23rd. Recent Acquisitions features materials procured in the last three to four years, including photographs of Abraham Lincoln from the Meserve-Kunhardt collection; a 13th-century manuscript book of the Gospels; an archive of 19th-century photographs of a multi-generational African-American family from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada; and papers from various activists, authors, poets, and dramatists. Destined to be Known: The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at 75 celebrates the anniversary of the James Weldon Johnson Collection at Yale and features key African-American figures from the Beinecke’s collections. Highlights include manuscripts by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, artwork by Augusta Savage and Roy DeCarava, the only manuscript known to have been written by a fugitive slave, and selections documenting the life of James Weldon Johnson.

Post on August 1, 2016 - 2:21pm |

August 1, 2016

In 2015, the Yale University Library launched a three-year pilot program to provide students with opportunities to curate exhibits and display research.  “Student Research at Yale University Library," on view from mid-fall through the end of the spring semester, highlights four exceptional student research projects. The selected students curate small, facsimile-based displays that incorporate resources available at the Yale Library. The exhibit not only shows the results of the students’ research, but also emphasizes the breadth and accessibility of the library’s collections. For example, the most recent exhibit featured primary sources available through Manuscripts and Archives, the East Asia Library, and the Beinecke Library, among others.

The annual “Senior Exhibit Project” selects one senior undergraduate student to create a larger exhibit based on his or her senior essay. The exhibit is installed in May and remains on view until the start of the fall semester. The process of developing a thesis into a visual display often encourages the student to approach his or her topic from a new perspective and make additional discoveries. Stephanie Tomasson (Jonathan Edwards ‘16), the most recent student curator, created an exhibit that examined comic books as tools for both entertainment and sociopolitical commentary.  The visual nature of her topic lent itself particularly well to the curatorial opportunity, and Tomasson realized that adapting her research for an exhibit allowed her to make connections that she could not necessarily make in a written essay. 

The selected student curators have approached their projects with imagination, enthusiasm, and professionalism. A curator’s talk and reception accompany each of these exhibits and have been well-attended by classmates, faculty, library staff, and the general public. Curatorial work at Yale Library allows students to share current and ongoing research through an experience that is challenging, hands-on, and incredibly rewarding.

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August 1, 2016

In January, Yale’s new Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will move into renovated space in Sterling Memorial Library – space recently vacated when the library’s technical services staff moved to a new location at 344 Winchester Avenue. Currently housed in 320 York Street, the center fosters excellence in teaching and learning at Yale by providing teaching consultations, support for student learning and writing, global online learning opportunities, advancement grants to faculty and graduate students, and a host of other initiatives that promote Yale’s teaching mission.

“Locating the CTL in Sterling Memorial Library will increase access to a wealth of resources,” said Jennifer Frederick, Executive Director of Yale’s CTL. “Our Sterling space is designed to prioritize collaboration and teamwork, both within the CTL and with key partners such as our library colleagues. The central importance of teaching and learning at Yale is signaled by placing us in the heart of campus.”

The renovated space will occupy 35,000 square feet of the library, including a corridor connecting the newly opened York Street entrance to the nave. The center’s new home will include a technology-learning studio, several flexible classroom or meeting spaces, and one-on-one tutoring rooms.

Susan Gibbons, University Librarian and Deputy Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communication, commented, “We are very excited to welcome the CTL into Sterling Memorial Library. The center’s support of teaching and learning is a perfect complement to the research services provided by the library. This new venture will transform Sterling Memorial Library into a key locus for academic support on campus.”

Post on August 1, 2016 - 3:02pm |

August 1, 2016

In early June, the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, located in Sterling Memorial Library, embarked on a renovation project that will continue through mid-December 2016.

The renovation is happening in tandem with building the new location for the Center for Teaching and Learning, who share the neighboring space. Once complete, the principal entrance for both the Music Library and the Center for Teaching and Learning will be via the York Street side of Sterling Memorial Library, though access will also be available through the nave.

The highlights of the renovation include a new circulation desk, new staff offices, improved shelving for the Recordings Collection, a new location for self-service photocopying and scanning, and two new technology-focused seminar rooms. A glass wall will provide an imposing new entrance, and the space will be further enhanced with exhibit cases and large digital displays in the corridor outside of the Music Library entrance. Services will continue as normal throughout the renovation; more information can be found on the Music Library’s website.

Post on August 1, 2016 - 3:17pm |

August 10, 2016

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will reopen its iconic building on Tuesday, September 6th, following a 16-month renovation that upgraded the library’s climate-control system, expanded its classroom space, and restored the architectural landmark to its original luster.

“We are excited to welcome back researchers and visitors to the library — an architectural masterpiece that has been adapted to meet challenges created by an ever expanding collection, changing technology, and the evolving nature of the library’s mission,” Beinecke Library Director Edwin “E.C.” Schroeder said. “The renovation ensures that the Beinecke Library will remain a world-class center for teaching, research, and scholarship for decades to come.”

The building’s architectural features — its exterior grid of granite and Vermont marble panels, six-story glass stack tower, and sculpture garden by sculptor Isamu Noguchi — have been refurbished to fully preserve architect Gordon Bunshaft’s modernist masterpiece, which opened in October 1963. Chicago-based HBRA Architects led the design work. New Haven-based Newman Architects was also heavily involved in the project.

The bulk of the comprehensive renovation project concerned replacing the library’s mechanical infrastructure — its plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems — much of which was original to the building. Machinery in the building’s sub-basement, including room-sized air handlers and chillers, was replaced with state-of-the-art equipment. The building’s security and fire-suppression systems were also upgraded.

The project doubled the number of classrooms in the library from two to four. One of the new classrooms will function as a lab space in which students will have the ability to study the physical structures of books and experiment with inks, papermaking, and printing.

Read more in this YaleNews article.

Post on August 10, 2016 - 12:51pm |

August 22, 2016

The Yale University Library is pleased to announce changes and service improvements for the use of the print collection for Yale students.  Starting August 22nd, graduate students, undergraduates, and undergraduate seniors will enjoy longer loan periods for the general circulating collections, as follows:

  • Graduate students will see an increase from a six-month to a one-year loan.
  • Undergraduate students will see an increase from two months to four months.
  • Undergraduate seniors will see an increase from two months to an academic year loan, with all materials being due on May 31, 2017.
  • The Robert B. Haas Family Arts library will also expand its loans to include six-month loans for graduate students and staff (to match that of faculty); and two-month loans for all undergraduates.

These new loans should better match students’ needs and use of the print collection for the next academic year. In addition to loan expansion, there will be a slight increase in lost book charges, which were last increased in 2002. These loan changes do not apply to Reserves, Borrow Direct, or Interlibrary Loan materials.  To see a summary of all changes, please visit the Yale University Library Borrowing Guide.

Post on August 22, 2016 - 2:54pm |