About Manuscripts and Archives

Mission Statement: Manuscripts and Archives supports diverse historical inquiry by collecting, preserving, and making available  primary source materials. We ensure that the cultural and intellectual history of Yale University remains vital and accessible to its community and beyond.  We affirm our commitment to adhering to the Yale University Library community values and to addressing bias and discrimination in our collections, services, spaces, and workplace.

Our history

The collections in Manuscripts and Archives first took form in the late 19th century when Yale faculty began placing their research materials in the library and Yale administrators began to collect documentation on Yale history. For more information on our history see History of Manuscripts and Archives.

Our collections

Manuscripts and Archives holds the historical records of Yale University; 4000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses; and personal papers and organization records documenting local, national, and international history from the 16th century to present. In our collections you will find paper and print materials, photographs, recordings, digital files, and other materials. Some of our subject strengths include:

  •     Yale University  
  •     Connecticut and New Haven  
  •     American diplomacy, public policy, and politics
  •     Medicine and health policy
  •     Architecture and city planning
  •     Environmental science and activism
  •     Legal and judicial history
  •     LGBTQ history and activism
  •     The Holocaust

Our collections reflect the evolving teaching, learning, and research needs of the Yale community and the broader communities we serve. We acknowledge that the perspectives of historically marginalized communities are underrepresented in our collections, and we are actively working to address this imbalance.

For more in-depth information about our collections and current collecting practices, see our collections pages.

To search our collections, see Archives@Yale.

Using our collections

Our reading room is open to the public and we are happy to help connect you with our collections. We welcome all, from seasoned archival researchers to first-time users. Whether you are writing a book, completing an assignment, exploring local history, or just curious, we want to make your research visit enjoyable and successful.

New researchers are asked to register before arriving. Since most of our collections are stored off-site, researchers need to request the materials they would like to see in advance. Please see the Guide to Using Special Collections at Yale University or email us at beinecke.library@yale.edu for more information.

Donating materials

For questions concerning donating materials appropriate for our holdings, please contact mssa.donatematerials@yale.edu.

Where we are

Manuscripts and Archives is located in Sterling Memorial Library (SML). Our reading room is found in the Wall Street wing of SML, across the hallway from the Memorabilia Room and Lecture Hall. For more information on how to find us, see Location and Directions.

Contact Us

Last modified: 
Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 12:20pm